Ocean Diamond Explorer Willard Bascom Dead at 83

Willard Newell Bascom, the man who discovered diamonds at the bottom of the ocean, died Sept. 20 at his home in La Jolla, Calif. Bascom was an oceanographer who explored the ocean floors for clues to the earth’s beginnings-and for treasure. He contributed to the first oceanographic mapping of the sea floor, which would later become the foundation for the theory of plate tectonics-how the earth’s continents were once connected and later grew apart. Bascom also was involved in raising sunken treasure and-for De Beers, off the Namibian coast-a reported 20 million carats of diamonds.