Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz M.D.
Bio: Dorian Paskowitz is an 86 year-old doctor and surfer who has spent most of his life promoting what he calls the "5 Pillars of Health": diet, exercise, rest, recreation, and habits of mind. An early advocate of preventive health and the benefits of surfing, his philosophies are detailed in his 1988 book SURFING AND HEALTH: How to Lose Weight and Gain Life.
More Bio: Dorian Paskowitz is an 86 year-old doctor and surfer who has spent most of his life promoting what he calls the "5 Pillars of Health": diet, exercise, rest, recreation, and habits of mind. An early advocate of preventive health and the benefits of surfing, his philosophies are detailed in his 1988 book SURFING AND HEALTH: How to Lose Weight and Gain Life.
Born in 1921 in Galveston, Texas, Doc first surfed at the age of nine in the Gulf of Mexico. Both he and his mother were asthmatic and as a result she was a devoted health-food advocate. His father was a shoe salesman and they were all raised in the Jewish faith. Doc's younger sister and brother, Sonia and Adrian, are both interviewed in SURFWISE. The family moved to San Diego in the 1930s where Doc became a lifeguard and was among the first true generation of early California surfers, making San Onofre his favorite spot ("old man's" break is still named for him and his buddies).
In the 1940s, Doc earned B.A. and M.D. degrees from Stanford University and did military service aboard the USS Ajax, when he witnessed the atomic bomb tests on Bikini Island. He became president of the American Medical Association in Hawaii and had two unsuccessful marriages when he became disillusioned with his life. He traveled to Israel, where he lived in the desert (learned to eat healthy), tried to join the Israeli army (failed), tested his newfound sexual prowess on dozens of women (he called it a scientific "study of the psychosexual behavior of women"), and became a local hero for introducing surfing to Tel Aviv. Then, he returned to the U.S. with a new set of priorities "to be a good father, and thus, a good man" as he says in SURFWISE, and wed his current wife of 48 years, Juliette.
As the film details in living color, Doc and Juliette had nine children together, whom they home-schooled and surfed with as they traveled around the continent in a 24-foot camper. Living a pure and healthy life outside of all societal expectations, Doc has always shared strong opinions about how modern America is rapidly "killing ourselves" through fat and lack of exercise. He therefore made sure his own family lived according to the strict diet and lifestyle of animals in wild, which has brought both praise and controversy from his kids and outsiders.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Doc would take on part-time medical work in needy areas to make small amounts of money as they traveled. In the summers, their home base became San Onofre beach in California, where the family established the world-renowned Paskowitz Surf Camp in 1972.
Though Dorian Paskowitz was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1991, he was never a big-wave or competitive surfer. Instead, Doc has incorporated the "aloha spirit" of surfing into his life and made it a vital component of his teaching. Throughout the surfing world, Doc is famous for the medical treatment and lifestyle advice he's given to surfers, and for the impact his wife and 9 incredibly-dynamic children have had upon it. Until recently, Doc and Juliette lived in a small apartment in Waikiki, Hawaii (seen in SURFWISE). They are now back in Southern California.
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