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. This list represents those whom most influenced the sport in the United States and by extension the world. However, world over men and women ventured into the sea to explore, hunt, and work. Who did what first or who invented the first doo-dad means less than the combined work of these men and women as a whole. Every one was an adventurer, explorer, treasure hunter and pioneer.
Ackerman, Jack – Pioneer diver from Hawaii. Started MAUI Divers.
Anderson, Dick – Underwater photographer and pioneer diver.
Auxier, Jim – Co-founder of Skin Diver Magazine.
Bachrach, Dr. Arthur
Ballard, Dr. Bob
Barada, Bill – Founder of Los Angeles Neptunes and manufacturer.
Bascom, Willard – Early wetsuit developer.
Bass, Dr. George
Behnke, Albert – Physician.
Bivens, Dr. Parry
Blakeslee, Chuck – Co-founder of Skin Diver Magazine
Bodner, Joe – Scientist.
Bond, George – Scientist.
Bonin, Dick – Pioneer manufacturer.
Boren, Lamar – Underwater photographer, stuntman, instructor.
Boutan, Louis – Early inventor of underwater camera and closed-circuit system.
Blakeslee, Chuck – Co-founder of Skin Diver Magazine.
Bradner, Dr. Hugh – westsuit developer.
Brawley, Ed – PDIC founder
Bridges, Lloyd – Star of Sea Hunt.
Brock, Ken – NSTC and YMCA pioneer. Former NAUI director.
Brooks I, Ernie – Photographer.
Brooks II, Ernest – 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.
Christiansen, Jim – Co-founder of Scubapro and champion spearfisherman.
Church, Ron – Underwater photographer.
Clark, Bob – Founder of SSI.
Clark, Dr. Eugenie – Scientist.
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves – Co-inventor of Aqua-Lung.
Crabbe, Buster – Famed diver and NAUI instructor.
Craig, Col. John D.
Cronin, John – Co-founder of PADI.
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.
Degn, Morgan Clint
Doubilet, David – Underwater photographer.
Earle, Dr. Sylvia – Scientist
Empleton, Bernie – Architect of the national YMCA program.
End, Dr. Edgar
Erickson, Ralph – Co-founder of PADI
Fane, Francis D.
Fisher, Mel – Early diving retailer and famed treasure hunter.
Frazier, Dottie – First female diving instructor.
Gaffney, John – Founder of NASDS.
Gagnon, Emile – Co-inventor of Aqua-Lung.
Giddings, Al – Underwater cinematographer.
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.
Icorn, Nick – Historian, instructor, manufacturer.
Jehle, Charles – DEMA pioneer.
Jones, John C. – Assisted in founding NAUI.
Keller, Hannes – Scientist.
Kelly, Mike – DEMA pioneer.
Klein, Jordan – Inventor and cinematographer.
Lambertsen, Dr. Christian
Lanphier, Dr. Ed
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.
Link, Ed – Scientist.
Long, Dick – Founder of DUI.
Marx, Robert – scientist/explorer.
McComack, Paul – Pioneer diver and instructor.
Meistrell, Bill – Pioneer diving retailer.
Meistrell, Bob – Pioneer diving retailer.
Miller, Sam – Pioneer instructor and dive historian.
Morgan, Bev – Co-founded LA County program. Founded DSI.
Nicklin, Chuck – Pioneer retailer.
Nicklin, Flip – Underwater photographer.
Norris, Dr. Kenneth
North, Dr. Wheeler – Co-founder of the Diving Locker.
Owen, David – Woods Hole Pioneer
Parry, Zale – Model, actress, pioneer instructor, and experimental diver.
Phinizy, Coles – Sports Illustrated writer who promoted scuba in early years.
Post, Arnie – Pioneer retailer.
Potts, Wally – Pioneer skin diver.
Prodonovich, Jack – Pioneer skin diver. Co-founder of Bottom Scratchers.
Rebikoff, Dimitri – Scientist and underwater photographer.
Rechnitzer, Andy – Scientist.
Retherford, Robert – Pioneer instructor.
Romero, Pablo Bush – CEDAM pioneer.
Scalli, Frank – Co-founder of first national inst. program, YMCA.
Shanks, Harry – Pioneer diver.
Somers, Dr. Lee – Scientist.
Soto, Bob – Industry pioneer.
St. Hill, Don – Assisted in founding LA County program.
Steele, John – Famed artist and pioneer diver.
Stewert, Capt. Don
Stewart, James – Pioneer diver and scientist.
Starck, Dr. Walter
Taylor, Ron and Valerie
Tillman, Albert – Co-founded NAUI, LA County, Underwater Film Festivals. Built UNEXSO.
Toggweiler, Mart – Built and operated the first West Coast dive charter boat.
Tzimoulis, Paul – Underwater photographer and author.
Waterman, Stan – Underwater photographer.
Watts, Hal – Pioneer instructor.
Woodward, Dave – Early insructor and photographer.