CRONIN, John J.
Last updated: April 18, 2017 at 17:58 pm
Sport diving pioneer; co-founder and CEO of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) with Ralph Erickson in 1966, the largest dive training and certification organization in the world; former CEO of U.S. Divers.
International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Bio
Cronin’s history in diving dates back to 1954, when he began his diving career as a sport diver and dive retailer. By 1956 he had started his own dive-training program, training hundreds of divers. In the early 1960’s Cronin took a job with U.S.D. Corp., a holding company that owned several companies in scuba diving, fire-fighting equipment, industrial safety, industrial eye wear and specialty gas businesses. His career with the company lead him to Chicago in 1961, where he became the mid-western sales manager for U.S. Divers. By 1969 he had packed his bags and moved west to Santa Ana, CA, to accept his appointment as Executive Vice President and CEO of U.S.D Corp. It was in 1966 that Cronin in conjunction with Ralph Erickson founded the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI as a scuba diving training company. Today, PADI is the world’s largest single entity in the diving industry with 1999 retail sales of PADI products in excess of US$250 million dollars. PADI has over 100,000 professional instructor and retail members worldwide, operates in 175 countries, and has affiliate subsidiaries in several countries. In 2000 PADI certified over 1,000,000 sport divers.