Paul Tzimoulis memorial

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Posted by Chris Knight on June 05, 2003 at 03:53:35:

This is a forward of a notable passage. Let us all hope that we can make a fraction of the impact that Paul and other of our pioneers did.

It is with the deepest regret that we report the passing of Mr. Paul
Tzimoulis, one of the diving industry's true icons. Paul lost his battle
with pancreatic cancer, and passed away at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada onTuesday June 3, 2003. During his five decades in diving, Paul was a
mentor and friend to countless senior members of the diving community,
some of who were able to visit him and his wife, Geri Murphy, during recent weeks,
The following account of Paul's career is edited from Pioneers In Diving by Edward C. Carigle, and is reproduced with Ed's permission. More
on Paul's career can be found at Plans for a memorial service
have been undertaken and will be announced at a later date.
> Paul J. Tzimoulis is one of the true pioneers in sport diving. He
> encouraged photography, diving research and safety, and conservation
in t=
> he underwater world by writing hundreds of articles to the public
about diving.
> His management skills were very evident in the 34 years that he was
the guiding force in dramatically building the grand daddy of diving
magazines Skin Diver Magazine.
> He is an excellent writer and underwater photographer. One of his
great =
> skills as a very productive manager is drawing out the very best of
people that work with him. Paul's class and character come shinning
through as a lecturer and Master of Ceremonies. He is a gifted leader.
Tzimoulis has devoted over 45 years to diving and campaigning to
preserve the world beneath the waves. He has an exceptionally wide range of
experiences and is extremely knowledgeable. His significant influence in
the world-wide diving community has made a major impact on the advancement of diving.

Paul Tzimoulis was born November 16, 1936 in New York, NY. He grew
up in New York and Connecticut. In 1951, Tzimoulis began free diving to
explore the lakes of Connecticut. He bought a gum rubber facemask and a
pair of fins from sporting good store. Being an avid fisherman, his natural curiosity
lead to asking where bass were hiding in his neighborhood lake. He began
his search to answer this question by free diving. Soon he wanted to
stay underwater longer. As an early adventurer scuba diving in 1953, Tzimoulis
experimented with homemade scuba. Over the next few years, he used a converted
Air Force oxygen rebreather to expand his underwater exploration. This
diving rig provided him the underwater capabilities to find out about bass - and
a lot of other marine life.
His first real interest in diving was the result of a two-month trip
to Miami, Florida, in the fall of 1954. He was very impressed with the
sport diving equipment there. Wanting to stay underwater with less
trouble, he bought his=20
first manufactured scuba rig in 1956, an AquaLung. In 1957,
Tzimoulis opened a scuba training school. Tzimoulis trained more than 5,000
diving students throughout Connecticut (New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford).
his diving even further, in 1957 he began professional sponge diving
in Tarpon Springs, FL.
> Tzimoulis started and operated one of the first East Coast retail
dive stores in 1958, called the East Haven Diving Center. He also worked
with retailers throughout the U.S. by developing diving promotional
activities including underwater film festivals, dive seminars and dive events. Tzimoulis began exploring the waters of the entire east coast, from Bar Harbor in
Maine,to Key West in Florida. He quickly became a nationally- recognized authority on=20
wreck diving, underwater photography, treasure hunting and underwater
natural history.
Soon Tzimoulis was diving in Bermuda, Bimini, Nassau, Puerto Rico,
the Virgin Islands and Grand Cayman. He also worked a salvage inspector in
theLong Island Sound. He became a Certified Scuba Instructor at the
first YMCA=20
> Diving Institute, conducted in Boston (1960). Shortly thereafter, he
was appointed to the YMCA Board of Examiners for YMCA Diving Instructor
Tzimoulis was the Customer Service Manager for U.S. Divers Company at
their Stamford, Connecticut facility from 1959 to 1961. He subsequently
served as East Coast Sales Manager for Sportsways, Inc. (1961 to 1963) -
calling on retail dive stores from Maine to Key West. In 1962, Tzimoulis received his
NAUI Instructor Certification (#347) and soon joined the Eastern NAUI
Board of Instructor Examiners. He became a PADI Instructor (#125) during
their first year of=20
existence, 1966. He also served on the teaching faculty of these
organizations - training and certifying instructors. His greatest honor came as he was named a honorary instructor with Los Angeles County.
> For many years, Paul Tzimoulis has been keenly aware of the need for
marine ecological study and underwater conservation. He joined the
American Littoral Society in 1961 when it first started. In December 1962,
Skin Diver Magazine published an article by Tzimoulis, "Our Vanishing Wrecks."
By early 1963, he organized the Committee For The Preservation Of
undersea Wrecks. =20

As Chairman of the Marine Preserves Committee of the American
Littoral Society, Tzimoulis led a campaign to save the wreck of the U.S.S. San
Diego which lies off the South Shore of Long Island. The campaign Tzimoulis started gained national recognition with an article in the August 16,
1963 issue of Life Magazine and a television interview by Hugh Downs on
the Today Show.=20
> His serious involvement in scuba training included him serving on the
Board of Advisors of NAUI, PADI and YMCA.=20
Of all professional underwater photographers, few are as widely known
and as easily recognized as Paul Tzimoulis. Beginning in 1957 with just
an Argus C-3 in a plastic bag, the superb underwater photography of
Tzimoulis has developed to a very high level of perfection. He won his first
underwater photo competition in 1959. He was a five-time winner of the
Connecticut Underwater Photography Competitions. Tzimoulis founded one of the
first underwater photography schools, located in San Salvador, Bahamas. He developed
many of the teaching techniques still used today. Tzimoulis conducted
additional underwater photo=20
courses in Hawaii, Bonaire, Florida Keys, Stella Maris and Chub Cay,
His first article, "Sponge Diving -- Scuba Style," appeared in the
August 1959 Skin Diver. Paul Tzimoulis was chosen Chief Photographer for
the December 1962 world record dive of Hannes Keller to 1,000 feet off
Santa Catalina Island,=20
California. His documentary photos of this historic event were
published in magazines and scientific journals all over the world. In 1964,
the International Underwater Film Festival held in Santa Monica, California
acclaimed. Tzimoulis as, "the brightest young meteor on the horizons of diving's
fut=ure." At this prestigious Film Festival, Tzimoulis was awarded a
"Special Tribute" for his documentary filming of the Hannes Keller 1,000-foot deep dive.
He founded and was Executive Director of the first International
Underwater Film Festival held in New York City, held in February 1965.
Tzimoulis helped organize similar events in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.,
Boston and Chicago.
One of the early staff members on Skin Diver Magazine,
Paul Tzimoulis joined the Magazine as Assistant Sales Manager in 1963,
withprimary responsibility=20
being sales and promotion in the eastern portion of the United States. For some time, Tzimoulis continued to supervise the Sportsways
warehouse facility in Jersey City, New Jersey.
> Tzimoulis was with Skin Diver Magazine for 34 years (1964-1998). In
1964, at the young age of 29 years old, Paul Tzimoulis was named
Editor/Publisher of Skin Diver. Since then, he served in various capacities -
Editor,Editor-in-Chief, Publisher and Group Vice President (over several
magazines at the parent company of Skin Diver, Petersen Publishing). During
his tenure at Skin Diver,=20
> he provided the dynamic leadership of development of such industry
milestones as the certification care (C-Card), dive travel, dive computers
and buoyancy compensator=20
For many years he guided Skin Diver during its largest growth period,
with many publishing innovations and contributions to diving. After a
distinguished career with Skin Diver, Tzimoulis retired as Vice President,
Publisher and Group Publisher for the Photography/Marine Division of
Petersen Magazine Network. Not one for sitting on his laurels, Tzimoulis
returned from retirement to become Executive Consultant of Sport Diver
Magazine andOnline Publisher of the Sport Diver Website.
> He greatly helped protect the legal rights of sport divers and
preservation of the ocean environment. Within just a few years he had
accumulated a tremendous amount of diving, writing, photography, knowledge
about the divingindustry and an admirable ability in business management.
> Tzimoulis is one of the founding fathers of dive travel. He devoted
42 years to the development of dive travel as a sub-industry. He made
his first live-aboard dive cruise of the Bahamas in 1960. Over the next 40
years, Tzimoulishelped to create many of today's most popular dive destinations,
including: the Bahamas, Bonaire, Roatan, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Truk
Lagoon, Palau, Yap and many others.
> For many years Tzimoulis has conducted seminars, lectures and
presentations on such topics as: dive tourism marketing, dive destination
development, dive resort operation and dive travel promotion. His most recent
seminars to audiences such as ScubaBowl 2000 (200 dive
retailers) the Dominican Republic Hotel Association, the Manta Ray Bay resort
staff(Yap) and the Cayman=20

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