William "Bill" R. Booth
Owner, United Parachute Technologies and
Complete Parachute Solutions
Mr. Booth was born in Coral Gables, Florida in 1946. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1969 with a degree in Music Education, and worked as a band director in Miami for several years.
Booth took up skydiving in 1965, and started a small skydiving equipment company in his garage in Miami in 1972. He moved the company to DeLand in 1974. His companies - United Parachute Technologies and Complete Parachute Solutions - now employ 150 people.
He has been awarded 12 U.S. and foreign patents for skydiving safety systems. He has received the Parachute Industry Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.S. Parachute Association's Gold Medal, and the Federation Aeronautic International (FAI) Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in parachute safety design - the highest international award available in his field.
In 1983, Booth developed the concept of tandem jumping. In the 1990s, he formed Polar Expeditions, Inc. and led six parachuting expeditions through Siberia to the North Pole, including the first tandem jump at the Pole in 1991. In 2011, as a 65th birthday present to himself, Bill made a jump from 30,000 feet over Mt. Everest. In 2012, Bill was inducted into the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has appeared in several Hollywood movies including “The Firm” with Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. He has also appeared on many national television shows.
Currently, Booth serves as chair of Stetson's School of Music Advisory Board, joining the Board of Trustees in 2015.