Sam Miller III: ScubaBoard's first "Scuba Legend"

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The Chairman

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Reprinted by permission from the Scuba Show:

Dr. Sam MILLER,III
A diver's diver;
a diver of the past,
a diver for present
a diver of the future...

Dr. Sam Miller,III's diving career began by chance in the 1940s. He contracted a serious eye infection while swimming in the local YMCA and his parents purchased a crude pair of swim goggles to protect his eyes so he could continue to participate in aquatic activities .

After WWII he obtained a Sea Net mask and few years later acquired a pair of Churchill fins. He became involved in an activity for which there were no full line manufactures, no dive shops, no training manuals, no organizations, no magazines, few books, no approved name and very few participants. Sam became a very active pioneer goggler!

At a very early age he discovered that recreational diving activities were all consuming. Since his college football days he has never taken up another hobby or participated in another sport. At his current age, it is suspected he's not going to change and begin to drown worms or chase little white balls around a pasture.

After service as a USAF officer during the Korean war he returned to his beloved California and resumed his diving activities. By then the wet suit had been introduced and divers were beginning to populate the beaches.

Sam migrated into the world of diving instruction via the first and only program available at that time, the very prestigious and demanding LA County UW Instructor's program. A few years later he became a NAUI instructor followed by NASDS, SCIP, CMAS, PADI and a few others in the UW instructors alphabet soup.

Sam was honored for his involvement in recreational diving receiving the following honors; Outstanding Contributions to Underwater Instruction, 1963,(LA Co), Outstanding Underwater Instructor of the year, 1969,(LA Co), Over the Hill Gang, 1984, (NAUI), Diving Dinosaurs, 1986, (NAUI), Platinum Pro 5000 Diver 1993, (SSI), Who's Who of SCUBA Diving, 1993, (Academy of Marine Science and Undersea Research), Father of Free Diving and Spear Fishing, 2000, (Free Dive List) , West Coast Leader and Legend, 2005, (Dive Chronicles) Dive Legend, 2007 (Legends of Diving.) Diving service award 2013 (SCUBA Show)

Sam is proud of his involvement in the pioneering era of recreational diving . He developed a number of the early SCUBA training exercises, many of which are still being utilized today, he was involved in creating the world's first Advanced Diving Program, the LA Co ADP, and he was responsible for creation of the diver/instructor classification system which has been universally accepted by most certifying agencies. (except LA County )

His experience and diving knowledge led to him to consult for many of the diving manufacturers. He evaluated prototype equipment for diving performance, maintainability and marketability. Some of the equipment was rejected and other items found their way into the mainstream of diving.

In his over seven decades of diving he has been a member or an officer in a number of diving organizations. Notable among them were the Southern California Skin Divers, Long Beach Neptunes, Sea Sabres, LA Underwater Photographic Society, Orange County Underwater Photographic Society, Historical Diving Society and the California Classic Equipment Divers.

As a member of the US Historical Diving Society he served on the founding board of directors and was HDS's first and only Director of Sport Diving, and in 2007 he co-founded with Jeff Rice the Ohio based "Legends of diving."

Sam is a product of a past era when diving skill was judged by game taken. His personal best are; Lobster 17Lbs 4 Oz, Halibut 38 Lbs, Yellow Tail 27 Lbs, White Sea Bass 49Lbs, Black Sea Bass 345 Lbs.

As a serious pioneer conchologist he collected, prepared and cataloged a very presentable sea shell collection which he donated to a natural history museum.

As a life long bibliophile, Sam has the indisputable largest and most complete recreational diving library in the US and possibly the world. Consisting of over 2000 historical and modern volumes, as well as the majority of American diving periodicals beginning with the very rare Skin Diver magazine, volume 1, December 1951, as well as most diving catalogs from 1951 to 2000.

During his life time he has published numerous articles, has had four dedicated diving columns in local and national publications, and authored the first US weekly newspaper dive column.

He was selected by Skin Diver Magazine as the first "guest" editor. He also appeared on a cover and published numerous articles for that publication, the only author to be so honored

As a recognized recreational diving professional he has appeared in a court of law numerous times as an expert witness for diving related litigation . His most notable appearance was the 1964 Toso Vs Burns trial which established the rights and privileges of a diver displaying the then very new and never litigated red & white diver's flag. Certainly an awesome responsibility .

Now retired to a beach community in central California where he stays actively involved in the diving community by writing occasional articles, doing historical research and is a regular presenter at the annual San Luis Obispo Professional Diving Conference.and an occasional presenter at The SCUBA Show in Long Beach California

He is married to Betty, a college president and a vintage diver. They have a combined family of five children, who are also long term divers, and four grand children who are eagerly looking forward to being introduced to the sport. Son Dr.SAM IV is a local ER & Hyperbaric doctor at Marion Hospital
 

The Chairman

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On a personal note: @sam miller became ScubaBoard's first "Scuba Legend" honoree this past year. It's been a pleasure to learn about our past and predict our future from a number of his writings.
 

Akimbo

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What's this USMC stuff? I was a captain in USAF-- I like to sleep in a bed with my head resting on a pillow.

SAM

Thank you for your service... from a former squid to a flyboy. That goes for all Swabbies, Dog Faces, Jarheads, Flyboys, and Coasties. Lets get this bar fight over with so we can all get back to drinking diving! :wink:
 

drbill

The Lorax for the Kelp Forest
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Congratulations, Sam!
 

100days-a-year

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Congrats and thanks for your contributions.The dive community could use a lot more leaders like Sam, who initiate and perfect techniques and lot fewer of those who regurgitate and pontificate.
 
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