The source of the money is a new 3-D camera he and his partner developed.

The television commercial begins with a red sun glimmering over the horizon and the sounds of majestic, expectant, classical music. The announcer’s voice proclaims, “You are about to behold a miracle.”

The miracle, the ad goes on to explain and dramatize, is three-dimensional photography. Now this art form, which in the past was dismissed as impractical if not impossible, can be performed by an amateur photographer.

But perhaps a greater miracle is the story behind the camera’s success. Horatio Alger could not have written a better script than the one Jerry Nims lives.

As recently as five years ago, Nims was on the brink of financial destruction. He was barely able to pay his staff of nine researchers who continued clearing a road into the technological frontier.

Today Nims is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Nimslo Corporation, which has literally given to the world another dimension in photography. Since 1978, Nims has raised more than $100 million to support the production and marketing of the Nimslo camera, named for Nims and the Chinese technical expert behind the venture, Allen Lo. Nims now employs 700 in the United States and several hundred more abroad. The estimated value of his Atlanta-based corporation is $450 million.

Nims says, “What has happened to me is a flat-out miracle. I shouldn’t be here; this business shouldn’t be here. Nims credits a large part of the strength he needed to endure through the lean years to the sustaining faith of his wife and to the promise of Matthew 24:13: “Those who endure to the end shall be saved.”

Nims, 47, could retire today if he wished. “I wouldn’t mind if I never saw another airplane,” he said, ...

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