Ken Cassie worked twenty-six summers as a lifeguard on beaches in Belmar, New Jersey. He studied at Cooper Union, Montclair University, Indiana University, Columbia University, and New York University, where he received a Ph.D. in Russian studies.
During the off-season he taught Russian, art, photography, and humanities. Ken served two tours with the United States Information Agency in the former Soviet Union, where he promoted American arts and culture in gallery and arena settings.
After retiring from both lifeguarding and teaching, Ken and his wife, Shelley, opened a pottery studio, Studio 103. An avid water person, Ken enjoys swimming, riding waves, and paddling. Although retired as a lifeguard, he cannot change one deeply ingrained habit: On the beach he feels at ease only when facing the ocean, where he can observe water conditions and bathers.