Beacham, Debbie

Resolute pro surfer and organizer from La Jolla, California; professional world champion in 1982, and president of the Women's Professional Surfing Association from 1982 to 1986. Born Debbie Melville in 1953 in Corpus Christi, Texas, the daughter of a navy pilot, she spent her early years living on or near a series of naval bases around the country. At 13 she moved with her family to La Jolla, and soon took up surfing.

By 1971, Melville was one of California's best female surfers, winning tw...