Dorian Paskowitz, a Stanford University-educated physician who abandoned medicine to become an itinerant surfer, traveling the country with his wife and nine children in tow and promoting the euphoria of an unbroken wave, died Nov. 10 at 93.

His death, with no other details, was announced on the website of the California-based Paskowitz Surf Camp, the school “Doc” Paskowitz founded in 1972 and that remains today a destination for surfers and aspiring ones.

The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Paskowitz began his career as a doctor but found little satisfaction in work that was based, as he saw it, on taking money from the sick. And so he pursued a new life, one with freedom and abandon that presaged the counterculture and that made him an offbeat celebrity for decades.

With a face weathered like a seaside bluff and eyes blue like the ocean – the description seemed inevitable – Paskowitz attracted newspaper and television reporters. In 2007, the release of “Surfwise,” a documentary directed by Doug Pray, brought renewed attention to his story.

Floundering after two failed marriages, Paskowitz left the United States in 1956 for a sojourn in Israel, where he occupied himself by surfing and teaching the sport to others. News accounts credited him with having helped popularize surfing in the Jewish state.

Back in the United States, he wed a Mexican-born aspiring opera singer in 1959. The marriage produced eight sons and one daughter. Together the family traveled the country in a 24-foot camper, free of such encumbrances as a mortgage or homework.

The children followed a rigorous dietary regimen that excluded sugars and slept, one son recalled, on the floor or in hammocks.

Archival footage of Paskowitz shows him frequently bare-chested or bedecked in a lei. He turned down family inheritance money, he said, and took temporary jobs in emergency rooms and clinics to keep the family financially afloat before he started teaching surfing.

The Paskowitz Surf Camp, located near San Diego, was a largely family-run operation. It was not the first school of its sort but became highly sought after. Part of its draw was Paskowitz.

“We are, for the most of us, a pretty simple and self-satisfied lot of people,” Matt Warshaw, the author of the “Encyclopedia of Surfing,” said of the sport’s enthusiasts.

“Doc was somebody who could land anywhere . . . and talk knowledgeably and be funny and be charming and be articulate, and be wise. . . . He made surfers and the sport by proxy be bigger and more interesting.”

Mainstream recognition of his success came in the 1990s, when the clothier Tommy Hilfiger signed a sponsorship deal. Thousands are said to have come to the surf school for instruction.

“Surfwise” presented a complex picture of the life Paskowitz had made for himself and his family, particularly his children, whom he did not send to school. The film depicted him as “a born pitchman, part carny, part evangelical,” wrote New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. One son said his upbringing had made it difficult to adjust to modern life.

Reflecting on his family’s lifestyle, Paskowitz recalled the Jewish saying that “as Israel has kept the Sabbath, so the Sabbath has kept Israel.” His family, he told Surfer magazine, had adopted another, corollary motto: As the Paskowitzes have kept surfing, so surfing has kept the Paskowitzes.

Paskowitz was born March 3, 1921, in Galveston, Texas, where he learned to surf in the Gulf of Mexico.

He honed his skills in the Pacific Ocean after his family moved to San Diego during the Great Depression and later in Hawaii, where he lived on and off over the years.

He received a bachelor’s degree in biological science in 1942 and a medical degree in 1946, both from Stanford, and served in the Navy before embarking on his medical career.

He experienced “one professional success after another,” he told Warshaw in an interview, “but in actual fact these were the worst years of my life. I deserted surfing and in its place I substituted ambition.”

Paskowitz set out for Israel, where he created a small surfing community in Tel Aviv – a forerunner to the school in California. He said that he volunteered to serve with Israel paratroopers during the Suez Canal crisis but was turned away.

“The colonel said, ‘Do you watch a lot of John Wayne movies?’ ” Paskowitz recalled in an interview with the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. “I said, ‘As a matter of fact, I do.’ He told me to go to Cyprus for a couple of weeks, meet a couple of Polish girls and come back. The war will be over by then.”

Paskowitz later returned to Israel, where he co-founded the cross-cultural organization Surfing for Peace. At 86, he brought 15 surfboards to Palestinian surfers in Gaza in an operation that he said he undertook as a “mitzvah.”

Paskowitz contributed articles to Surfer magazine and wrote the book “Surfing and Health: Live Long, Live Well” (2007).

He had several children before marrying his third wife, Juliette, in 1959. Many of their children – David, Jonathan, Abraham, Israel, Moses, Adam, Salvador, Navah and Joshua – became top-level surfers or worked in the entertainment and music industries. A complete list of survivors could not immediately be confirmed.

“It’s this simple,” Surfer quoted Paskowitz as saying.

“I went into the water. When I came back I was a better person. Better than when I went in.”