W. David Judson, Jr.
Hall of Fame Class of 1997
Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Sponsor, David Rowan, Publisher: Ski Area Management.
The ski world has been blessed with many creative, dedicated individuals who have given unsparingly of themselves to make and help keep the sport and business of skiing sound. William D. Judson, Jr. is one of them.
William D. Judson, Jr. became interested in skiing while he was a student at Yale University. He was an avid recreational skier all his adult life and a competitor in the early years of his long involvement in the sport. Upon graduating from Yale, Judson concentrated on writing. He wrote ski fiction for The Saturday Evening Post and became the editor of SKI Magazine in 1940 for a year.
In World War II, Judson served in the 10th Mountain Division in their famous campaign in Northern Italy, earning a Bronze Star in the process. As a professional writer, he was one of three men putting out the division’s newspaper, The Blizzard. He was designated as chief editorial writer for the paper.
Closer to home, he and his wife, Mary Hooker Judson, started the Otis Ridge Junior Ski Camp, the first overnight camp for juniors. This amazing operation with a staff of 16 instructors, four dormitories and a capacity of 100, was way ahead of its time and was responsible for introducing countless youngsters to the sport.
Judson was active and involved in the field of ski instruction. Consistent with his willingness to do pro bono work for the betterment of the ski sport, he served for 10 years (1958-1968) on Roland Palmedo’s Committee on Certification of Professional Ski Teachers of the U.S. Eastern Amateur Ski Association. Paula and Paul Valar stated: “David served for years on the USEASA ski instructors certification committee. He supported our efforts to standardize ski techniques, to improve training and certification procedures and in forming our own professional organization. We could always count on his advice and encouragement.”
To give perspective to Judson’s efforts on behalf of ski areas in the early 1960s, it is well to remember that at that time the ski world was trying to absorb its period of greatest growth. New ski areas were springing up all over the country; there were no national standards for ski lifts; no national standards for trail marking; the problems of skier safety and risk management were not being addressed in any organized way; there was little or no national coordination between ski areas and the national instructors and patrol organization and the market for ski area insurance was chaotic.
According to Stephen J. Bradley, Honored Member of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, 1980, “Dave Judson’s career is a stunning record of one man’s selfless dedication to the welfare of a relatively young industry. The election of Dave Judson as NSAA’s first president proved to be a stroke of genius.”
Judson was elected as the first president of the newly formed National Ski Areas Association from 1962 to 1965. In 1976, Judson received the Sherman Adams Award for “outstanding service to the ski industry.´ William D. Judson died in 1992 at the age of 82.
William D. Judson was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame as a member of the “Class of 1997.”
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