Why hasn't anyone mentioned Jimmy Holcombe. He is one of the original pioneers of the sport, and has been doing more to teach new people the sport than most of the names listed. He has multiple first descents, and paddled with most of the people mentioned. I took my Swift Water Rescue coarse from him, and later took my Level IV ACA cert from him. One of the best instructors around, and a super fun loving attitude. He had a story about Walt Blackadar coming to the south east. Said Walt would drink something called green dragons. (KoolAid, and vodka.) He said that he had that Walt had a lot of trouble on the Upper Chattooga, because it was more creeky, but when they got to Section IV which was about 3 feet at the time Walt excelled. All the South East guys were looking at Sock Em' Dog talking about the hole, and Walt said "What Hole?" and charged on. Jimmy has been an influential part of who I am as a paddler, and an instructor. Every story he shared with me I cherish. It would be sad not to see him on the list.
Also Milo Dufek, because I use Dufeks all the time