Dottie May Frazier
Dorothy Adele Reider[1]

(1922-07-16)July 16, 1922
DiedFebruary 8, 2022(2022-02-08) (aged 99)
Long Beach, California
Occupation(s)Diver and dive shop owner

Dottie May Frazier (July 15, 1922 – February 8, 2022) was an American diver, designer, and dive shop owner. Her life is chronicled in her autobiography, Trailblazer: The Extraordinary Life of Diving Pioneer, Dottie Frazier. She was the first female scuba instructor and the first female dive shop owner.[2]

Early life

Dorothy Adele Reider was born on July 15, 1922, in Long Beach, California, to parents Francis and Laura Davis Reider.[3][4] She was injured in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.[5] She graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1939.[6]


Frazier began teaching freediving in the 1940s.[3][7] During World War II she worked for Douglas Aircraft Company.[6] In 1955, Frazier became a certified scuba instructor and was the first woman in the United States to do so.[8][9] She also created some of the first wetsuit patterns for women.[10] The suits were developed under the name Penguin Suits in conjunction with Frazier's dive shop, Penguin Dive Shop.[11][3] Penguin was the first female-owned dive shop.[12] After the birth of her third son, Frazier founded Aqua Families, a club of divers who dove with their children.[4]

Personal life and death

Frazier had four sons[11] and was married three times. She died in Long Beach on February 8, 2022, at the age of 99.[1][6]


Frazier was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000.[13] In 2019, Frazier was awarded the Historical Diving Society's Diving Pioneer Award.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Dottie Frazier May". Press-Telegram. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  2. ^ Denny, Megan (2017-03-23). "7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  3. ^ a b c Archbold, Rich (2019-09-20). "At 97, Dottie May Frazier has led an extraordinary life but she isn't done – she's aiming for 100". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  4. ^ a b "Dottie Frazier". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  5. ^ Archbold, Rich. "Belmont Shore Native Remembers '33 Earthquake As Scary, Exciting".
  6. ^ a b c Genzlinger, Neil (1 March 2022). "Dottie Frazier, a Pioneer in Diving the Deep Seas, Dies at 99". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Dottie Frazier , 2000". The Women Divers Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  8. ^ "Five Remarkable Scuba Diving Women". Sport Diver. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  9. ^ Archbold, Rich (2018-03-01). "Rich Archbold column: For Dottie May Frazier, the Great 1933 Long Beach Earthquake was a scary adventure". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  10. ^ Sallmon, Allison Vitsky (2020-07-16). "The Mothers of Invention: A Brief History of the Evolution of Women's Dive Gear". Scuba Diving. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  11. ^ a b Reynaud, Hélène (2020-06-15). "Famous Female Divers: Dottie Frazier". Scuba Diver Life. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  12. ^ Clark, Tec (2016-12-27). "League of Extraordinary Divers 004: Dottie Frazier". ScubaGuru. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  13. ^ Gallant, Jeffrey (2020-04-04). "FRAZIER, Dottie May". Diving Almanac & Book of Records. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  14. ^ Dowsett, Kathy (2020-03-22). "Dottie Frazier, Breaking Scuba Diving Barriers". The Scuba News. Retrieved 2020-12-11.