New Early Pioneers

The people you see here embody the same spirit as the early pioneers who are already part of our hall of fame. They have all been on the front lines at one point or another for the sport of diving.

ASSOCIATION OF DIVING INSTRUCTORS (PADI)

ASSOCIATION OF DIVING INSTRUCTORS (PADI)

Significant Career Achievement and/or Industry Contribution

The world’s largest scuba diving training organization, PADI was dreamed up in 1966 by two friends in Illinois over a bottle of Johnnie Walker. John Cronin, a scuba equipment salesman for U.S. Divers (now Aqua Lung), and Ralph Erickson, an educator and swimming instructor, were concerned about the scuba diving industry. They felt that the scuba certification agencies that existed at the time were unprofessional, didn’t use state-of-the-art or educationally valid instructional techniques or materials, and made it unnecessarily difficult for people to enter the sport.