Stanley MeltzoffIndividual 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 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 day. 

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 shortly thereafter.

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 life. 

His life bio and some art were featured in The American Littoral Society’s “Underwater Naturalist” periodical publication in 2008….Vol. 28, #3.
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