CHUCK BLAKESLEE AND JIM AUXIER

Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier

As young sport divers, the team of Chuck Blakeslee and his good friend Jim Auxier began one of the cornerstones of diving.

Working out of their homes and then a small office in Lynwood, CA, the two pioneers launched Skin Diver Magazine in December 1951.

This foremost dive magazine was the leading diving publication for fifty-one years, the last issue appearing in November 2002. The first issue was black and white throughout with a two-colour cover. Including the covers, it contained 16 pages, two underwater photos and a few surface pictures. It was literally put together in the living room by Jim and Chuck. The cover price was 25 cents, or $3.00 for a one-year subscription.

They remained in Lynwood California until 1963. Jim Auxier was the first editor of the magazine, while Chuck was Advertising Manager. Chuck was the first President of the company and Jim was the Vice President. These positions were alternated each year. The two friends remained equal partners in every way, as co-publishers and co-owners of Skin Diver Publications, Inc., a California corporation. In October 1956, the title of the rapidly growing magazine was changed to Skin Diver Magazine.

Chuck and Jim were very active in the diving community, giving many lectures and also providing support to the two fledgling diver training organizations: the Los Angeles County Diving Instructor Program and NAUI.

Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier received many awards and honours for their many years of contributions and service to the diving industry: the NOGI Award for Arts from Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences) (1960); the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and were inducted into the Diving Hall of Fame (1994).

BACK