Starting his career in the United States Navy in 1947, Cross became owner and operator of the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving in California, where he trained many commercial, open sea, research and other specialty divers. He also instructed many diving clubs and groups in safe diving procedures.
In 1956, he sold the shop and bought a 60-foot schooner, outfitted it with the most sophisticated diving equipment and tools, and embarked on an educational-exchange cruise to areas where there was a high rate of diving accidents. Cross worked with the Mexican government in writing several diver training manuals, taught medical personnel in the use of the hyperbaric chamber for treating bends and assisted in the planning of the Navy diving school in Acapulco.
Cross has written various books and numerous articles related to diving and underwater photography and filming. He has served as Technical Editor of Water World Magazine, editor of Hawaiian Shell News, and was a columnist for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling and Skin Diver Magazine. Cross also received the Underwater Society of America’s NOGI Award, the TRITON Award from the Hawaii Council of Diving Clubs and a Smithsonian Institution Award.