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J. Stanley Mullin

Hall of Fame Class of 1973

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by John Watson.

Stan Mullin’s ski sport did not consist merely of philosophical positions held but of positions expressed articulately and forcefully.

The ski sport activities of J. Stanley Mullin, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, spanned more than four decades. Stan Mullin spoke out when it counted for amateur ski sport, the Hall of Fame, physical fitness, against cash prize ski racing in USSA and the injection of nationalistic politics into the F.I.S. and Olympic movements. He was awarded the highest individual honor of the USSA, the Julius Blegen Award, in 1962.

Stan Mullin was born July 14, 1907 in Los Angeles. He received his AB degree from Stanford University in 1930 and his LLB from Harvard Law School in 1933. Stan began skiing in 1931 and was one of the pioneers of the California Ski Association, along with Corty Hill, Frank Ferguson, Sepp Benedikter and Andy Hauk. He skied in California at many sites before the first lifts in 1940, was one of the founders of Southern Skis in 1940 and served as its secretary immediately before and after his service in World War II. As a Lieutenant, USNR, he served on Atlantic submarine patrols aboard cruisers and destroyers and saw action in the invasion of Normandy, Southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Stan Mullin served ski sport in many capacities: U.S. Delegate to F.I.S. (1951–67), vice-president of F.I.S (1961-67) and the chairman of its eligibility committee (1961-67). His expertise in the field of amateurism and his brilliant law-oriented mind impelled him toward high international office. Serving as a U.S. delegate to the F.I.S. along with Corty Hill and Alice Kiaer, he attended his first international meeting in 1951 at Venice, Italy. It was not long before Stan was on the eligibility certification committee destined to make numerous difficult decisions as professionalism dogged the F.I.S.

A former vice-president and director of USSA, Far West Ski Association and former president of Southern Skis, he was a member of the Ski Club of Great Britain and a member of the Sun Valley Ski Club. Besides service though, Stan wrote down what he thought; contributing many articles to publications, some to the American Ski Annual, and he retained an exhaustive library of ski publications. The Far West’s “Man-of-the-year Award” was established in 1966 in Stan’s honor.

It was in the years 1961 and 1962 Stan made decisive moves affecting ski sport in North America. Those moves lie in two areas: the championing of amateur sports and the preservation of the Hall of Fame program. In that same era he managed to prevent the USSA from supporting (as one of its own programs) cash prizes i.e. professional, ski racing. His memorable defense of amateur ski racing at the 1961 USSA convention in Colorado Springs drove one of the final nails into the coffin of professional ski racing within the USSA. It was also during this year that Stan Mullin was among the movers who prevented transferring the Hall of Fame from Ishpeming to Squaw Valley, California and turning it into a commercial promotion. Here is what he wrote to California’s Governor Pat Brown, January 6, 1962: “Having been concerned for five years with the development of Squaw Valley as the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics which brought so much glory to California and the United States – I am naturally concerned with what happens to it now.”

“The development of the facilities or more of our citizens to enjoy wonderful winter sports is the proper use of this public facility.

“I am concerned, however, when I read of the prospective use of part of the facilities for something that looks like a ‘side show’ proposition, riding in the glorious Olympic history of Squaw Valley. By this, I am referring to the proposed ‘International Ski Hall of Fame’ proposed to be installed in the Nevada Recreation Center at the Valley.

“I am concerned not only because of the prospective character of the operation, but the further fact that it does not take into consideration that there already exists in Michigan the United States Ski Hall of Fame – built and staffed by contributions over a period of many years. This Ski Hall of Fame is the official Ski Hall of Fame established by the National Ski Association in Ishpeming, which is generally considered to be the starting point of organized skiing, as we know it, in the United States.” Later investigation and effort prevented this objectionable transfer and violation of the Hall of Fame tradition. But for Stan Mullin it could have happened!

J. Stanley Mullin was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1973.

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