Paul Sperry was born into a Connecticut family with a long sea-faring tradition. He grew up listening to his great-grandfather, Captain Sereno Armstrong, tell of wild adventures in the South Sea islands. Sperry's college years at Dartmouth were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, when he enlisted as a Seaman in the US Navy. As an avid sailor and inventor, who almost lost his life to a slippery deck, Paul Sperry spent years and dozens of experiments trying to perfect a non-slip boat shoe. One day, after watching his dog dart effortlessly across the ice, he carved grooves - like those on his dog's paws - into the bottom of a rubber sole In that moment of inspiration, the world's first boat shoe was born. (Is this man a genius or what!). So effective was his design that during World War II, the US War Department named the Sperry Top-Sider as one of the official shoes of the US Navy. An impressive feat by anyone's standard.