Individual to be memorialized: Stanley Meltzoff
Nominating Club: Shore Aquatic Club
Reason individual is being named:
Stanley was truly an original Jersey diver (circa: late
1940’s). He helped start one of the first dive clubs in the U.S.,
The Underwater Fisherman of New Jersey, (in Asbury Park) in 1951.
He was the holder of two unofficial spearfishing records: striped
bass, 65 lbs (1963) and bluefish, 21 ½ lbs (1961). The record
bluefish still stands. All are breath-hold (free diving).
Stanley was the “go-to” guy on legal matters concerning divers and
diving, and the voice of reason in those matters in the early
days. When diving was about to be banned in New Jersey inlets as
too dangerous, he got himself on the boating commission (early/mid
1960’s) and formulated “rules of the road” to keep inlet diving
legal. They hold to this day. Stanley, along with Jack
Fullmer, Art Nelson, and the Council’s Al Hoffman, set in motion the
ground work to make spearfishing for striped bass finally without
question, totally legal (1984).
Stanley was always a fan of the NJ Council of Diving Clubs, but it (the
Council) faded out in the late ‘60’s. There was a meeting held by
select divers over 35 years ago at Stanley’s house, mentored by
Stanley, to revive the Council. It worked and operates to this
Stanley led a group of divers in setting up the offices of the Sandy
Hook Marine Labs at their start in the very early 60’s. He was
also a charter member of The American Littoral Society that started
Born in Harlem, NY, Stanley graduated from college at age 19 with
honors. He went on to grad school, then to WWII. After the
war, he worked as an art history professor and artist. He was a
gifted illustrator with a world class reputation. His work
appeared in all the famous magazines and publications, including the
bicentennial phone book cover (remember the one with all the famous
people and faces holding phones in 1976?). It was the only time
the same cover was used nationwide. Stanley decided in the late
1960’s to gradually move his talents to paint only marine life.
So, even as some of those other projects interjected themselves into
his schedule, he became one of the most respected “fish painter” of our
time with a special place in his heart for New Jersey marine
His life bio and some art were featured in The American Littoral
Society’s “Underwater Naturalist” periodical publication in 2008….Vol.
Born in 1917, he passed away in late 2006 at almost 90. He was a special talent, diver and friend.
Date Submitted: November 19, 2008