Phillips, Walt

Baby-faced surf media impresario from Los Angeles, California. Phillips spent three years in the Marines just after high school, then quickly made his first surf movie, Sunset Surf Craze, in 1959. He went on to produce another half-dozen films, including Surf Mania (1960), Once Upon a Wave (1963), and Dr. Strangesurf (1965).

For Surfing Illustrated, the magazine he founded in 1962 (with help from designer John Van Hamersveld and photographer LeRoy Grannis), Phillips served as publisher, edit...