The son of Sir Malcolm Campbell, Donald was born on March 23rd 1921. He was not entirely destined to follow his father, but after his father's death he could do no other thing. Donald's early attempts at records began with the Water-speed record, he used the boat K4 for his early forays but despite some valiant efforts he struggled with the boat that his father used. He suffered a 170Mph crash in 1951. This prompted him to develop a completely new boat,the K7. This was to prove a formidable boat that was to see him set 7 World Water-Speed records between 1955 and 1964. The first was Ullswater where he set a record of 202Mph. This was raised to 216mph at Lake Mead in 1955. Then began a sequence of record raising runs at Coniston where he finally attained 248mph in 1958. He finally raised it to 276mph in 1964 at Lake Dumbleyung in 1964.
His attentions then turned to cars, and while attempting a record run in 1960 at Utah, he crashed very heavily this resulted in a long convalescence period. It was during this period that people questioned his ability and many people believe that cracks in his pschye started to appear. However in 1964 at Lake Eyre, Australia, he set a new World Land Speed Record of 403.1Mph In December of the same year, again in Australia, this time at Lake Dumbleyung he achieved a unique and incredible second world speed record, this time on water at 276.33Mph. Thus becoming the first and thus far only person to hold both Water and Land Speed Records at the same time. Three years later on January the 4th 1967 whilst trying to become the first person to go over 300Mph on water he crashed at Coniston water. He had achieved a run of 297Mph on the first leg, but turning around without refueling and not waiting for his wake to settle, he set off on the second leg.The boat lifted out of the water after exceeding a speed of over 300Mph, somersaulted and disintegrated on landing on the surface. His body was never found. Superstition and luck were a major part in his life and the night before he pulled a "bad luck" hand at cards, which left him convinced that his run was doomed, this is why some people feel he turned around too quickly, there was nothing he could do anyway.