This short list is just a few of the men and women who gave much of the lives to the sport of skin and scuba diving. The descriptions after their names represent only a small summary of contributions that in most cases would fill an entire book.



Dick Anderson

Anderson, Dick - Underwater photographer and pioneer diver.Pioneer diver Dick Anderson is one of diving's most entertaining humorist and a celebrity on the underwater film festival circuit for more than twenty-five years. A commercial diver, scuba equipment inventor, filmmaker, book author, magazine writer, treasure diver and underwater set designer, Anderson's life story is more fascinating than most Hollywood movies.

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1932, Richard Eianer Anderson moved to Santa Monica, California at an early age. He attended Santa Monica High School and went on to Willis Business College. In 1946, at the age of 14, Anderson began spearfishing off the thinly populated coast of Malibu ? today a seaside colony for movie stars.

In 1948, before there were any training or certification agencies, Anderson began scuba diving with a converted aircraft oxygen rebreather. His dive preparation often drew crowds of curious onlookers and he soon began making money salvaging items that were dropped off piers and boats along the Southern California coastline.

In 1952, Anderson went to work for the U.S. Divers Company, which was then located in Westwood, college town just East of Santa Monica. He started as a handyman and repairman and soon became foreman of the diving department. He became the first certified Aqua Lung repairman in the U.S. and in turn gave Aqua Lung repair training to the U.S. Navy's Underwater Demolition Team (UDT).

In 1953, Anderson moved to Miami to join the Diving Corporation of America. He gave scuba instruction, diving exhibitions and repair technician training. He was farmed out to the Walt Disney Studios during the filming of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, filmed in Nassau and served as the diving equipment technician for the film.

In 1954, Anderson enrolled in the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving in Wilmington, California. He graduated at the top of his class and developed a lasting relationship with E.R. Cross, owner and director of the school. Anderson worked with Cross with many diving jobs while a student and continued this close association for years afterward.

In late 1954, Anderson was hired by Healthways to establish their scuba equipment department. He remained a technical advisor for two years and participated in the testing and evaluation of diving equipment, training of equipment technicians and the preparation of instruction and repair manuals.

In late 1956, Anderson became active as a freelance commercial diver for the Southern California area. He dived with both hardhat gear and scuba equipment, depending on the job. His clients were oil companies engaged in early oil exploration of offshore leases, as well as offshore oil drilling platforms at Santa Barbara.

During the summers, he worked with Hanson Mooring and Diving Service of Avalon, on Catalina Island. He served as a diver, tender and an operator of the companies mooring vessel. He developed a lasting friendship with owner Al Hanson and engaged in numerous salvage operations in the succeeding years. Anderson a special course in motion picture production at Brooks Institute of Photography in 1957 while he served as first mate aboard E.R. Cross's 70-foot schooner, the Four Winds.

In 1958, Anderson rejoined Healthways of chief engineer of Research & Development Department. His main contributions were the scuba pack harness, and a distinctive line of single hose regulators, including the Scuba Star, Scubair, Scubair-J and Scubair 300. These were the first regulators to incorporate an O-ring first stage. Anderson was the developer of the original Scubapro single hose regulator, which included the development of Scubapro's first adjustable second stage.
From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Anderson worked as a freelance diver, a writer, photographer, filmmaker, consultant and diving equipment engineer. He authored more than 100 articles on diving in such magazines as Skin Diver, Aquarius, Dive, Argosy, Life, Post and Popular Mechanics. In the mid-1960s, he served as Editor of Dive magazine

With a growing reputation as a serious and competent deep diver, Anderson often served on support teams for attempted record dives. He was the 200-foot safety diver for Jean Clarke Samazan's record scuba dive to 350 feet in the mid-1950s. He subsequently served as the 200-foot safety man for Smokey Ream's record scuba dive to 370 feet in the late 1950s.

In 1963, Anderson once again served as the safety diver the Hannes Keller 1,020-foot open ocean bell saturation dive off Catalina Island, California. Although the successful mixed-gas dive was marred by the loss of two divers, the Los Angeles Coroner's investigation panel concluded, ªg The selection of the other safety diver, Richard Anderson, was justified and most fortunate. We feel Hannes Keller owes his life to the unusual ability and courage of this one man.ªh With the two saturation divers unconscious inside, Anderson met the ascending dive bell at 260 feet and held the leaking hatch shut so that Keller could continue the ascent and decompression schedule that saved his life.

In between commercial diving jobs and developing diving equipment, Anderson headed for the mountains. Bitten by the gold bug, he began roaming the chilly water steams and rivers of the gold rush country, searching for gold nuggets and fine gold dust. Putting his engineering skills to use, he developed a variety of river dredges and surface air supply systems for probing the potholes, stone fissures and deep pools of these mountain streams. Eventually he wrote a how-to book on gold diving, entitled, Diving and Dredging for Gold, Published by Best Publishing Company of Flagstaff, AZ.

Anderson produced several award winning 16mm films related to diving. The most memorable was Gold From the Winfield Scott, a humorous treasure diving film that won the Film of the Year award at the 1970 International Underwater Film Festival in Santa Monica. The Winfield Scott was a 225-foot long sidewheeler steamer that sank off Anacapa Island in late 1853, carrying California gold rush miners and a sizeable amount of gold. During this period, Anderson served as Master of Ceremony for a multitude of film festivals throughout the U.S.

In 1967, Anderson worked as a writer on the creative staff of Jerome Schnurr's television game show, Everybody's Talking that aired on ABC television. He was the underwater cameraman for a shark sequence in Warner Brother's feature film, Island of Lost Women. He was technical advisor for a helmet diving sequence for Columbia Pictures feature film Zombies of Mara Tai.

Throughout the 1970s, Anderson worked for a variety of different diving companies and manufacturers. He became director of R&D for White Stag Watersports in Marina Del Rey. After that, he worked with Bob Marx and Sea Finders Inc., conducting an underwater search of the Bahamas for the treasure galleon wreck of the Maravilla. Two years later, Anderson became Operations Manager in a 1974 effort to recover treasure from the same wreck. The Maravilla was wrecked on Little Bahama Bank in 1656. Under Anderson's direction, approximately one million dollars of treasure was recovered.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Anderson continued his underwater movie and television work on such productions as Jaws, The Revenge where he served as divemaster, and Baywatch where he designed and construct movie props.

Anderson was honored with the NOGI Award for Arts in 1970, and has just been selected as a inductee to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame for their 2004 ceremony .



Jim Auxier

Auxier, Jim - Co-founder of Skin Diver Magazine.Before Skin Diver magazine, communication between divers was about as good as Indian smoke signals on a rainy day. Divers wanted their diving spots to themselves and resented any other diver who intruded. They barely grunted in acknowledgement if they got close to each other. But all that began to change in December of 1951 with introduction of the first national magazine devoted to diving.

The first issue [produced by Jim Auxier and Chuck Blakeslee] was a peephole-look at diving around the country. On the cover was champion spearfisherman Doc Nelson Mathison with a gigantic White Sea Bass slung over his shoulder. The photo was a duotone green and black, while the rest of the magazine was in black and white. The back cover ad, also in two colors, was for Voit Rubber Company's mask and fins.

A total of 16 pages made up the Number one issue. It was skinny, but substantially full of exciting stories about activities and information for the world to read. News included the first annual Midwinter Skin Diving Derby held on December 15, 1951. ªgUnderwater fishermen and women from Monterey to San Diego, California, explored the kelp beds and underwater reefs for big fish, abalone, and lobster in an effort to win one prize. Prizes consisted of Aqua-Lungs, rubber suits, spears, guns, masks, flippers and a variety of other equipment amounting to almost a $1,000.ªh The article said that competition was keen since the world's best underwater divers tried their luck. The derby was held in part to build a ªgwar chestªh of money in support of the Southern Council of Conservation Clubs and the Ocean Fish Protective League.


Bill Barada

Barada, Bill - Founder of Los Angeles Neptunes and manufacturerBill Barada started skin diving off the coast of Southern California in 1935 when the sport was called ªgGoggle Fishing.ªh His first dive was off Laguna Beach, armed with a pair of goggles and a spear pole made of an old broomstick and a frog gig. Since those early days he has explored the underwater world from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Canada to the Caribbean. Barada has, at one time or another, engaged in underwater hunting, competition diving, underwater photography, underwater salvage and construction, rescue operations and recovery.

No equipment was available to the early divers and most of them made their own. Many of Barada's designs became so popular that they formed the basis for a manufacturing company, which distributed them nationally. He designed and built dry suits for Bel-Aqua Water Sports Company. A few of his firsts are: the first successful cold water dry suit, the first all rubber snorkel and the first CO2 speargun.

In 1940 Barada formed the ªgNeptunesªh one of the first skin diving clubs in America. By 1950, antagonism from safety officials, conservation groups and organized sportsmen threatened skin diving with restrictive legislation. In order to combat this movement, Barada was able to reverse the anti skin diving trend and establish skin diving as an accepted and respected sport in California.

Precedents set by the California Council have been adopted as standards across the nation. The present Underwater Society of America represents similar councils formed throughout the northern part of America. The California Council is strong in this Society. Bill Barada served on the original Board of Governors of the Underwater Society during its formative stages.

His friendship with Lloyd Bridges, the Mike Nelson of the Sea Hunt T.V. series, led him into television writing. As a result, Barada wrote a number of scripts for Sea Hunt and is a member of the Writers' Guild of America West. One of his books was Mask and Flippers with Lloyd Bridges ? as told by Bill Barada.

He also wrote scripts for a number of underwater movies by Jim Deucher: Beneath The Surface, The Troubled Sea and Drop By Drop To The Sea which won the Golden Eagle Award.

As an underwater photographer Barada took the first motion pictures ever made of the giant octopi in Puget Sound. His film of skin divers wrestling 15 and 16-foot octopi has been televised nationally.

Barada was a prolific writer with articles appearing in such publications as: Animal Kingdom, Boating Industry, Fire Engineering, Hotel Management, Lively World, Oceans, Outdoor News, Points, Selling Sporting Goods, Skin Diver, The Naturalist, Travel Agent, True, Western Outdoor News and more. He wrote a weekly skin diving column for an outdoor magazine and has contributed numerous articles to newspapers.

He also authored a number of books and booklets, including:

Mask and Flippers with Lloyd Bridges ? Chilton Publishing Co.

UNDERWATER - The SKINDIVER'S Manual ? Trend Inc - 1955

Let's Go Diving ? U.S. Divers Co. ? 1962

Underwater Hunting ? Doubleday & Company, Inc. ? 1969

Spearfishing ? AMF / Voit ? 1970

World Beneath The Sea (co-authored) ? National Geographic

Bill Barada ran his own national business, marketing diving products, and served 21 years with the Los Angeles Fire Department, where he helped establish the revolutionary technique of using divers to fight fires underneath docks and piers.

He retired from the Fire Department to take a full time position as Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for U.S. Divers Company, the largest manufacturer of diving equipment. As part of his promotion strategy, Barada wrote a monthly advertising column in Skin Diver.

He later became the Marking Manager for Skin Diver Magazine, where he eventually recruited and helped to hire Paul Tzimoulis as East Coast Advertising Sales Manager and Associate Editor. Barada and Tzimoulis worked together for several years and Tzimoulis went on to becoming the Skin Diver publisher for 34 years .


Dick Bonin


Bonin, Dick - Pioneer manufacturer.Scubapro is one of the largest and most successful diving companies in the world. Founded by Dick Bonin and Gustav Dallavalle in 1963, the company has enjoyed three decades of prosperity and growth.



Boren, Lamar - Underwater photographer, stuntman, instructor.Cinematographer Lamar Boren spent over 40 years in films and on television.

The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

Flipper (1963)

Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)

Namu, the Killer Whale (1966)

Brewster McCloud (1971)

Blakeslee, Chuck - Co-founder of Skin Diver Magazine.








Bridges, Lloyd - Star of Sea Hunt.
Long before diving became popular and we had learned about many of the inhabitants of our oceans, diving was an activity that only a few brave souls undertook. Each week from 1957 to 1961, Lloyd Bridges portrayed Mike Nelson, one of those few adventure some men who was our guide to the world below and made those breathtaking journeys.

Brooks, Ernie - Photographer.

Buehlmann, Albert - Scientist.

Bush-Romero, Don Pablo - Founder of CEDAM.

Bussoz, Rene - Importer of first Aqua-Lungs.

Calhoun, Fred - Educator.



Carpenter, Scott - Inerspace and outerspace explorer and scientist.

Scott Carpenter
NASA Astronaut (former)

Scott Carpenter, a dynamic pioneer of modern exploration, has the unique distinction of being the only human ever to penetrate both inner and outer space, thereby acquiring the dual title, Astronaut/Aquanaut.

He was born in Boulder, Colorado, on May 1, 1925, the son of research chemist Dr. M. Scott Carpenter and Florence Kelso Noxon Carpenter. He attended the University of Colorado from 1945 to 1949 and received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Carpenter was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1949. He was given flight training at Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas and designated a Naval Aviator in April, 1951. During the Korean War he served with patrol Squadron SIX, flying anti-submarine, ship surveillance, and aerial mining missions in the Yellow Sea, South China Sea, and the Formosa Straits. He attended the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1954 and subsequently was assigned to the Electronics Test Division of the Naval Air Test Center. In the assignment he flew tests in every type of naval aircraft including multi and single-engine jet and propeller-driven fighters, attack planes, patrol bombers, transports, and seaplanes.

From 1957 to1959 he attended the Navy General Line School and the Navy Air Intelligence School and was then assigned as Air Intelligence Officer to the Aircraft Carrier, USS Hornet.

Carpenter was selected as one of the original seven Mercury Astronauts on April 9, 1959. He underwent intensive training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), specializing in the fields of communication and navigation. He served as backup pilot for John Glenn during the preparation for America's first manned orbital space flight.

Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 1000 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral after 4 hours and 54 minutes of flight time.

On leave of absence from NASA, Carpenter participated in the Navy's Man-in the-Sea Project as an Aquanaut in the SEALAB II program off the coast of La Jolla, California, in the summer of 1965. During the 45-day experiment, Carpenter spent 30 days living and working on the ocean floor. He was team leader for two of the three ten-man teams of Navy and civilian divers who conducted deep sea diving activities based in a sea floor habitat at a depth of 205 feet.

He returned to duties with NASA as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Manned Spaceflight Center and was active in the design of the Apollo Lunar Landing Module and in underwater extravehicular activity (EVA) crew training.

In 1967, he returned to the Navy's Deep Submergence Systems Project (DSSP) as Director of Aquanaut Operations during the SEALAB III experiment. (The DSSP office was responsible for directing the Navy's Saturation Diving Program, which included development of deep-ocean search, rescue, salvage, ocean engineering, and Man-in-the-Sea capabilities.)

Upon retirement from the Navy in 1969, Carpenter founded and was chief executive officer of Sear Sciences, Inc., a venture capital corporation active in developing programs aimed at enhanced utilization of ocean resources and improved health of the planet. In pursuit of these and other objectives, he worked closely with the French oceanographer J.Y. Cousteau and members of his Calypso team. He has dived in most of the world's oceans, including the Artic under ice.

As a consultant to sport and professional diving equipment manufacturers, he has contributed to design improvements in diving instruments, underwater breathing equipment, swimmer propulsion units, small submersibles, and other underwater devices.

Additional projects brought to fruition by his innovative guidance have involved biological pest control and the production of energy from agricultural and industrial waste. He has also been instrumental in the design and improvement of several types of waste handling and transfer equipment.

Carpenter continues to apply his knowledge of aerospace and ocean engineering as a consultant to industry and the private sector. He lectures frequently in the U.S. and abroad on the history and future of ocean and space technology, the impact of scientific and technological advance on human affairs, space-age perspectives, the health of planet Earth and man's continuing search for excellence. An avid skier, he spends much of his free time on the slopes in his home of Vail, Colorado.

He recently completed his first novel entitled "The Steel Albatross." It has been dubbed an "Underwater Techno-thriller" and deals with the impact of advanced diving and medical technology on deep sea and submarine combat.

Carpenter's awards include the Navy's Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, U.S. Navy Astronaut Wings. University of Colorado Recognition Medal, the Collier Trophy, New York City Gold Medal of Honor, The Elisha Kent Kane Medal, The Ustica Gold Trident and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo.

Christiansen, Jim - Co-founder of Scubapro and champion spearfisherman.

Church, Ron - Underwater photographer.

Clark, Bob - Founder of SSI.




Clark, Dr. Eugenie - Scientist.

Eugenie Clark, a world-renowned ichthyologist and authority on sharks who is popularly known as theSHARK LADY , is a Senior Research Scientist and Professor Emerita in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she joined the faculty in 1968. She continues to teach a course each fall on Sea Monsters and Deep Sea Sharks.

She was a research assistant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the New York Zoological Society, and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. She was the founding director (1955 to 1967) of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, now a leading center for shark research called the Mote Marine Laboratory with which she is still affiliated.

Dr. Clark is the recipient of three honorary D.Sc. degrees and awards from the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the Underwater Society of America, the American Littoral Society, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Women Geographers, and the President's Medal of the University of Maryland. She has authored three books and over 160 scientific and popular articles.

She has conducted 71 deep submersible dives. Her latest research projects concern the behavior of tropical sand fishes and deep sea sharks. These studies have been featured in 12 articles she has written for National Geographic magazine.




Cousteau, Jacques-Yves - Co-inventor of Aqua-Lung.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born in St. Andre de Cubzac, France, in 1910, and entered the French Naval Academy in 1930. From 1933 to 1935, he served in the Far East, aboard the cruiser Primauguet and ashore in Shanghai. He trained as a Navy flier until a serious automobile accident ended his hope for an aviation career. He was swimming regularly in the course of his rehabilitation when he tried underwater goggles for the first time -- and his future course was set. Seeking ways to explore underwater longer and more freely, he developed, with Emile Gagnan, the first AquaLungR in 1943.

After World War II, he created and organized, in conjunction with Commander Philippe Tailliez and Frederic Dumas, an underwater research unit to carry out technical experiments and laboratory studies in diving. In 1950, Captain Cousteau acquired Calypso , a retired minesweeper of American construction. Over the next year, she was transformed into an oceanographic vessel, and the adventures of the now-famous ship began. In the next four decades, she sailed literally around the world exploring and filming the planet.

In collaboration with engineer Jean Mollard, Captain Cousteau designed the Diving Saucer in 1959, a highly maneuverable, two-person submersible capable of diving to a depth of 1,000 feet. In 1965, twin one-man submersibles, the Sea Fleas , were launched. Captain Cousteau also directed three experiments in saturation diving: Conshelf I (1962), Conshelf II (1963), and Conshelf III (1965), in which six men lived and worked at 300 feet for three weeks. Captain Cousteau, Professor Lucien Malavard and Bertrand Charrier developed the Turbosail tm wind-propulsion system in 1982. The system was refined for the experimental ship Alcyone , now a proven expedition and filming platform.

Jacques Cousteau produced more than 115 films , which have won numerous Emmys and other awards, including three full-length theatrical feature films: The Silent World (Oscar and Palme d'Or), World Without Sun (Oscar and Grand Prix du Cinema Francais pour la Jeunesse) and Voyage to the Edge of the World . Captain Cousteau wrote, in collaboration with various co-authors, more than 100 books, published in more than a dozen languages. Books in English include Jacques Cousteau's Amazon Journey (1984), and Jacques Cousteau / Whales (1988); in French, Les Iles du Pacifique (1990), L'Ile des esprits (1995), Le Monde des Dauphins (1995) and the posthumously published L'homme, le pieuvre et l'orchidee .

Made Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur for service to the Resistance, Captain Cousteau was promoted to Officer and Commander for scientific accomplishments. One of few foreign members of America's prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Cousteau served as Director of the Musee Oceanographique of Monaco for thirty-one years, resigning in 1988 to devote himself to his ecological mission.


Captain Cousteau held honorary degrees from   Brandeis University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University.   He was the co-recipient in 1977 of the International Environmental Prize of the United Nations and was honored with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.

He was inducted into the Television Academy of Fame in 1987and received the Founders Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 1988, he was on the UN Environment Programme's Global 500 Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement and received a National Geographic Society Centennial Award.

In 1989, he was inducted into the famous Academie Francaise, France's highest form of recognition for lifetime cultural contributions. In 1991, the Catalan Institute of Mediterranean Studies in Barcelona awarded Captain Cousteau its International Catalan Prize. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington honored Cousteau with the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in 1996.

Captain Cousteau was an official guest at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The following year, he was appointed to the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development and agreed to serve as advisor on environmentally sustainable development to the World Bank. That same year, the President of France named him Chairman of a newly-created Council on the Rights of Future Generations; Captain Cousteau resigned this post in 1995 to protest France's resumption of nuclear testing in the Pacific.

ThroughThe Cousteau Society, which he founded in 1973, the Captain focused his efforts to protect and improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Supported by contributions from members and the public, the Society has carried out expeditions throughout the world to document humanity's interaction with natural ecosystems, and to rouse the consciousness of Earth's citizens.

Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau died June 25, 1997, at the age of 87. Today, The Cousteau Society continues its work under the leadership of President Francine Cousteau.



Crabbe, Buster - Famed diver and NAUI instructor.

Athletic actor Buster Crabbe, born Clarence Crabbe, grew up in Hawaii where he developed into a first-rate swimmer and athlete, going on to win the gold medal in 400-meter swimming at the 1932 Olympics (he broke the record held by another actor-athlete,Johnny Weissmulle). After the Olympics he found work in Hollywood playing Tarzan, branching out from this character to eventually play Flash Gordon, Billy the Kid, and Buck Rogers, among other action heroes. He became enormously popular with young audiences for his appearances in many serials and action flicks of the '30s and '40s, and ultimately starred in over 100 films. He also made westerns (in the '40s he was teamed with sidekick Al "Fuzzy" St. John), and was on the list of Top Ten Western Stars at the box office in 1936. Crabbe went on to star in the '50s TV seriesCaptain Gallant,, which also featured his son Cullen "Cuffy" Crabbe. He considerably slowed down his acting output in the '50s and '60s, becoming the athletic director for a resort hotel in the Catskills and investing in the swimming pool business. He also authored Energetics, a book on physical fitness for people over 50. Crabbe later returned to the screen once, for a large role inThe Alien Dead(1980). ~ All Movie Guide













Cronin, John - Co-founder of PADI.

16 July, 2003. The diving industry today is mourning the loss of the man who introduced more than 10 million people into the sport of scuba diving. John J. Cronin, co-founder and CEO of PADI, The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, died yesterday at his home in Temecula, California at the age of 74. Cronin, one of the most influential men in the diving industry and current President of The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) would have completed his 50th year in the industry next year.

A native of Albany, New York, John joined the Marine Corps where he served from 1947-1948 being recalled to service in the Korean conflict from 1950 to 1952. In 1959, John accepted the position of East Coast Promotions Manager for U.S. Divers Company in New York City. In 1964, John became the first person in the history of the diving industry to surpass wholesale sales of $1 million dollars. Rising rapidly through the ranks, John was promoted to Marketing Director in March of 1969. Later that same year, he was appointed CEO and then President of U.S. Divers, a position he held until his retirement in September of 1985.

While attending a diving banquet in December of 1961, John met Ralph Erickson, a professional educator. A friendship immediately developed, and over the next several years their concept of a new, professional diver training organization was developed, this was PADI. In 1966, Cronin, in conjunction with Erickson, formalized the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI, as it is known today.

Thanks to John's leadership, PADI, is currently recognized as the largest single entity in the diving industry with retail sales in excess of $250 million. PADI has offices in 7 countries, over 100,000 individual members and 4,600 Retail and Resort locations located in 175 countries worldwide. In 2000, PADI issued its 10 millionth diving certification.

Cronin served on the board of the DEMA from 1971 until 1993, at one point being the President, and again elected as President in 1999, 2000, and 2002. He gave his time unselfishly in promoting the industry and the sport championing new diver acquisition, retailer, resort, and manufacturer growth, and fighting legislation that would negatively impact the industry.

Cronin was also heavily active in politics being actively involved with Republican candidates at the local, state, and federal levels for over 20 years. He raised millions of dollars while serving as the treasurer or finance chairman for over 60 campaigns, including several for former Governor Pete Wilson of California and past Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

Cross, E.R. - Author, inventor and instructor.

Dalla Valle, Gustav - Pioneer manufacturer and diver.

Davis, Ralph - Founder of Spearfishing Association and early club leader.

Davison, Sam - Founder of DACOR.

Doubilet, David - Underwater photographer.



Earle, Dr. Sylvia - Scientist

Marine biologist Sylvia Earle?sometimes known as "Her Deepness" or "The Sturgeon General"?has been an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society since 1998. Named Timemagazine's first "hero for the planet" in 1998, Earle has pioneered research on marine ecosystems and has led more than 50 expeditions totaling more than 6,000 hours underwater. She holds numerous diving records, including setting the women's depth record for solo diving at a thousand meters (3,300 feet).

I was swept off my feet by a wave when I was three and have been in love with the sea ever since," Earle said. "Even as a child I was lured into the sea by the creatures who live there: horseshoe crabs on the New Jersey beaches; starfish and sea urchins in the Florida Keys; and everywhere strange and wonderful forms of life that occur only underwater. It was and is irresistible."

Former chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earle is author of more than 125 scientific and popular publications, including a 1995 book,Sea Change. Her research places special emphasis on marine plants and the development of technology for access and research in the deep sea. She played a key role in a decision in early 1999 by the Clinton Administration to double the budget of the U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries.

Earle works with the Society on projects involving her passion?most recently as project director of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions. Sustainable Seas was a five-year project of the National Geographic Society and NOAA, which administers the 12 U.S. marine sanctuaries, the underwater equivalents of national parks. The objective of the initiative was to explore and photodocument the geology and creatures in the deep waters of each of the sanctuaries. Earle also has written three books for the Society, two children's titles, and Wild Ocean: America's Parks Under the Sea.

Earle was born August 30, 1935, in Gibbstown, New Jersey. She has a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's degree and doctorate from Duke University as well as 12 honorary doctorate degrees. She lives in Oakland, California


Empleton, Bernie - Architect of the national YMCA program.

Erickson, Ralph - Co-founder of PADI

Fisher, Mel - Early diving retailer and famed treasure hunter.

Frazier, Dottie - First female diving instructor.

Norma Hanson and Dottie Frazier, two trailblazers who had the courage and ability to enter the man's world of commercial diving in the 1950s, demonstrated then the same attributes that are still necessary to succeed today.

Norma married Al Hanson, a California abalone diver, in 1949. At first, she ran a shop that processed the abalone, but Al's stories of the beauty to be found underwater lured her to try diving herself. She loved it.

They eventually left the abalone business and acquired a barge that served as a staging point for their new endeavor – entertaining tourists by diving under glassbottom boats, feeding fish, answering questions through a communications hookup, and identifying sea life. Both wore hardhat gear for the demonstrations.

One of their fish feeding acts almost resulted in tragedy when a great white shark headed straight for Norma's legs. Al spotted the predator and yelled a warning. Norma drew her legs up just as the animal passed below her, mouth gaping. She kicked hard with her lead-toed boots, connecting and convincing the shark that he'd rather be elsewhere. He took off. The tourists seemed to think that it was all part of the act. Norma was not amused.

After the summer tourist season, the Hansons had a diving, mooring, salvage, and inspection business that required travel all over the world. When Al later began working for the Port of Los Angeles, Norma joined the Pile Drivers Union to be able to act as his tender; he credits her with the fact that he "never got bent while she was my tender." The couple continued to work together on such diverse projects as stunt work for several movies, and jobs for various businesses, including telephone and insurance companies. Altogether, they spent 40 years in commercial diving.

Norma, now 75, and Al, 88, have been married 50 years. She still describes him as "fabulous." They are putting the finishing touches on the manuscript of their book, More Than Nine Lives, and hope to have it published soon. Both continue to dive for recreation; they enjoy snorkeling in the Caribbean and Hawaii. Norma has survived bouts with lupus and cancer, but she remarks, "We've had a wonderful life. Al's health is excellent and mine is good, in spite of everything. We still enjoy life."

Dottie Frazier is another diving pioneer who proved that women are capable of working in hardhat gear, even if the woman is only a little over 5 feet tall and weighs 90 pounds, the gear is so big that it has to be tied at the arms and legs, the shoes are several times too big, and a small Japanese helmet has to be used. Born in 1922, she began by free diving at the age of eight or ten (for a coffee pot that her father accidentally dropped over the side of his boat). By the time she entered her teens, she was free diving for lobster, abalone, and fish. At that time, most women were content just to sun themselves on the beach, so her diving comrades were all male. She later became a free diving instructor.

In 1955, she enrolled in the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructors Certification Course, amid resentment from other students –Êall male – and from the instructor. She had never used scuba, but skin diving had taken her as deep as 30 or 40 feet. She took top honors in the class for waterwork, and became the first woman scuba instructor in the U.S.

Frazier, too, had an encounter with a great white shark. On a trip to Baja, her five male diving companions watched in horror from the boat as a shark circled her for half an hour, keeping her from returning to safety. "They would have been crazy to enter the water to help," she says, "and the boat couldn't move because the anchor was stuck." She dropped her bag of catch, but retained her weight belt because she remembered being told to stay underwater – sharks will attack on the surface. She kept going up and down. Already in the water for a couple of hours when the shark appeared, she was growing tired. In desperation, she swam straight at the animal. Apparently startled by her action, it retreated to a safer distance, giving her a chance to swim for the boat, where her stunned friends helped her aboard. "You were lucky this time," they told her, "but next time you do that, you may swim right into his open mouth!"

After taking a hardhat course in 1960, Frazier worked for an insurance company, recovering lost items and investigating boat sinkings; she also worked for towboat and barge companies. However, her commercial career was short because she did not like the restrictions of hardhat gear. Now, her hardhat has been converted to a lamp. "But I never use it," she laughs.

With four sons, 20 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren, Frazier is still active; she water skis and rides a dirt bike. During our interview, she mentioned that she had just played an hour and a half of racketball – and won!

Gaffney, John - Founder of NASDS.

Gagnon, Emile - Co-inventor of Aqua-Lung.


Giddings, Al - Underwater cinematographer.

Al Giddings has earned a reputation as one of the most creative and talented director - producer - cinematographers in the entertainment industry. Never settling for off-the-shelf technology, Giddings is constantly designing innovative camera, lighting, and optical systems in all film and video formats, from large-format to high definition television.

A founding partner in the non-fiction production entity Mandalay Media Arts, Giddings is well known in the entertainment industry for his underwater directing and shooting of highly-acclaimed films such as The Deep and the James Bond classics For Your Eyes Only and Never Say Never Again. He pushed underwater film techniques and technology with groundbreaking innovations as director of underwater photography for The Abyss - a film that was nominated for an Academy Award for outstanding cinematography. He also recently served as co-producer/director of underwater photography for the 1997 blockbuster spectacular Titanic.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Giddings became interested in diving as a teenager. He built his own diving suit and purchased one of the first aqualungs that became available during the 1950s. Giddings explored and photographed underwater life along the California coast, selling some of his early print work to magazines. During the 1960s, he engineered and manufactured many underwater camera systems and lighting units and began producing underwater documentary films. Since then, he has directed and produced countless undersea feature films, television specials, and commercials.

Graver, Dennis - Author and instructor

Hanauer, Eric - Author and instructor.

Hardy, Jon - Pioneer instructor.

Hass, Hans - Scientist and author.

Hess, Neal - Co-founder of NAUI.

High, Bill - Instructor and scientist.

Howland, Garry - Assisted in founding NAUI.

Garry grew up in Groton, CT home of Nuclear Submarines and thrived in a Navy town that lived and played in the water. He built submarines while
in high school working the swing shift in the boat yard. (1943-1944) He enlisted in aviation cadets right out high school and went to fly airplanes. (1944) In those days the war supply of pilots was being down sized and some 50,000 cadets were released from the program including Garry Howland. (1944) He went on to officer candidate school and graduated a second lieutenant in the air force. (1952) While in the air force he was offered an opportunity to attend the US Navy underwater swimmers school to become a US Navy Diving Supervisor. (1958) He graduated as a honor graduate (gold certificate) from the class of twenty-two that finished out of the forty students that started for a nearly fifty percent washout rate.

Garry returned to Biloxi, MS to set up the first Air Force underwater Search and Recovery team at Kessler Air Force Base. (1958) He wrote the first diving regulations for Air Force personnel. (1958) His team consisted of forty people including cooks, carpenters, electricians, and military police with eight divers with a portable air compressor that was put into a forty-foot tractor/trailer with enough rations and supplies to conduct diving operations in the field for thirty days. (1958)

He established eight diving clubs in towns along the Mississippi coast and created the Mississippi State Diving Council. (1957-1960) He started a military dive club at Kessler Air Force Base and with his wife trained many students in the three years he was there. He went to San Antonio TX where he taught diving in the YMCA. (1960) His job at Randolph allowed him to travel over the United States were he took the story of scuba diving to every city he went to in America. (1960-1962) Then he went to Malmstrom AFB, MT to teach again at the YMCA in town. While at Malmstrom he worked with Al Tillman with the Underwater Film Festival and dove with the editor of Skin Diver Magazine in the islands off the California coast (1962-1966). He went to Freeport Grand Bahamas to work at the Underwater Explores Club and was instrumental in starting NAUI by joining the BOD while at the first certification course where he graduated as the top student and first in his class. (1960) Next he moved to Fairfield-Susan, OH where he taught scuba diving on the Air Force Base. Later became NAUI's president and the Chairman of the Board. (1962-1964) He continued to teach instructors and train diving students during this time.

Garry worked as a Diving Assistant to the Medical Examiner 1st Florida District (1985-1996) working with medical examiner to investigate diving accidents, writing reports, assisting autopsy's in over twenty incidents. After assisting the medical examiner with the autopsy, Garry would examine the equipment then take the equipment and duplicate the exact dive using the same equipment from the incident and made a complete diving incident report for the Medical Examiner.

He developed the long hose octopus that has become a standard for cave and technical divers, to handle the small spaces in cave diving where divers would swim up to a crack in the bottom and slide their cylinders through the crack then they would swim into the other side pick up the regulator and cylinder to continue the dive. (1960-1962) Here he developed an inflator using pneumatic supplies from Sears to build a power inflation for the dive safety jackets. (1960-1962) His big problem was an over pressure relief valve so one had to especially careful how much air he put into the bag to prevent blowout of the bag when it became over filled. Using these systems he dove to 270 feet in Wakulla Springs and to 180 feet in Morrison Springs in 1958. Garry is certified as an Ocean Operator for vessels with the United States Coast Guard. He a closed circuit rebreather instructor and a hyperbaric chamber operator. He has completed 10,023 scuba dives since 1956.

Garry has Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Electronics) from Oklahoma State University (1957), a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering (Stable Platforms and Electronics) from the Air Force of Technology (1966) and a Masters in Business Administration (Marketing and Finance) from University of West Florida. (1976)

He was or currently is a DAN instructor, a PADI instructor, a YMCA instructor, a SSI instructor trainer, a NAUI Instructor Trainer/Evaluator, and an IANTD Instructor/evaluator. (1958-present).

Icorn, Nick - Historian, instructor, manufacturer.

Jehle, Charles - DEMA pioneer.

Jones, John C. - Assisted in founding NAUI.

Keller, Hannes - Scientist.

Kelly, Mike - DEMA pioneer.

DEMA's Hall of Fame, A History of Award Recipients



Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Environmentalist, Explorer & Inventor

Dr. Glen Egstrom, Educator

Jack McKenney, Photography & Cinema

Stan Waterman, Photography & Cinema


E.R. Cross, Educator

Bill & Bob Meistrell, Manufacturers

T.A. "Mike" Kelly, Founder of DEMA

Al Tillman, Training Agencies


John Cronin, Training Agencies

Sam Davison Jr., Manufacturer

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist

Arnold Post, Retailer

James Stewart, Scripps Institute of Oceanography


Dick Bonin, Manufacturer

Ralph Erickson, Training Agencies

Michael Kevorkian, Inventor, Educator & Retailer

Frank Scalli, Training Agencies


Scott Carpenter, Explorer & Author

Eugenie Clark, Marine Biologist

Zale Parry, Actress


Jim Auxier, Skin Diver Magazine - Creator

Chuck Blakeslee, Skin Diver Magazine - Creator

Lloyd Bridges, Actor

Jean-Michel Cousteau, Environmentalist & Explorer


Robert Gray, The DEMA Show


John McAniff, Educator

Bev Morgan, Manufacturer

Fred Weiss, Manufacturer


Joe Dorsey, Retailer

Dr. Hans Hass, Photography & Cinema

Paul Tzimoulis, Photojournalist


John Gaffney, Training Agencies

Bob Clark, Training Agencies

Captain Don Stewart, Travel Destinations


Clive Cussler, Author

Al Giddings, Photographer/Cinematographer

Howard Hall, Photographer/Cinematographer

Ron Merker, Retailer/Educator


Cathy Church, Photographer

Bob Hollis, Manufacturer

Gordon Shearer, Manufacturer


Ike Brigham, Manufacturer

James Cahill, Retailer

David Taylor, Environmental Award Recipient


Ron Kipp, Travel Destinations

Charlie Jehle, Manufacturer

Jon Hardy, Educator

Dr. Peter B. Bennett, Educator


Jim Church
Ed Christini

Jean Gallagher

Klein, Jordan - Inventor and cinematographer.

Lecocq, Sam - Pioneer manufacturer.

Lee, Owen - Author.

Lillas, Mel - Architect of the NOGI Award and pioneer diver.

Limbaugh, Conrad - Scientist and diving educator. Trained first LA County instructors

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