Wilby Durham

Induction Year: 
Ski Journalist

Wilby Durham (1913 - 2000)

A life-long and ardent advocate of skiing, Wilby Durham's indelible mark is carved deeply on several Intemountain Area skiing scenes.

A native of Parowan, Utah and graduate of the University of Utah, Wilby's interest in skiing was influenced by neighbors Alf, Sverre and Corey Engen, the legendary ski pioneers.  In 1948 that friendship spawned the Deseret News Free Ski School, which introduced the sport to tens of thousands of youngsters and became the largest, longest-running ski school of its type in the nation.

Beyond establishing the newspaper's popular learn-to-ski program, Wilby's love of the sport also was evident in the Intermountain Area where he volunteered as a race official, timer, starter, recorder and tireless supporter of young racers.

His public relations skills were meshed with his passion for skiing again in 1962 when he was among a group of influential Utah business, government and civic leaders who established The Olympic Club whose purpose was to heighten Utah's ski tourism and to host the Olympic Winter Games.  The Olympic Club was the forerunner to Ski Utah, the promotional arm of Utah's billion dollar-plus ski/snowsport industry.

In 1997 Wilby was awarded the J. Willard Marriott Library's Ski Archives S. J. Quinney Award for his extensive contributions to skiing.