David Greig "Skippy" Browning Jr. was born in Boston in 1931. His family moved to Corpus Christi when he was three, and Skippy started diving at the age of four. Not long after, his family relocated to Dallas and in 1941 Skippy entered his first competition. Over his career, he won eight AAU springboard titles for the Dallas Athletic Club. After one semester at Wayne State University, he transfered to The University of Texas at Austin, where he was a three-year all-American and NCAA champion. In 1950 he finished second to Bruce Harlan of Ohio State by only 0.6 points. However, the following two years Skippy won the titles for both the 1- and 3-meter springboards. Their rivalry dates back to the Olympic trials for the 1948 games where Harlan edged out Browning for a spot on the team. Browning came back to win gold on 3-meter springboard at the 1952 games in Helsinki. His life was cut short in 1956 when his jet crashed while on a training run. Skippy was just about to relocate to Los Angles to begin training for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.