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Matt Rosenberg

Harm de Blij, 1935-2014

By March 29, 2014

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Geographer Harm de BlijGeographer Harm de Blij died last Tuesday, March 25, 2014, due to complications from cancer. Dr. de Blij was 78 years old and is one of the best-known geographers in the United States due to his work on television and as the author of the ubiquitous world regional geography textbook Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts. There is a memorial page to de Blij at the Michigan State University Geography Department website, where de Blij served as the John Hannah Professor of Geography for the last ten years. Here on my site you can find a biography of de Blij, an essay from a my meeting with de Blji in 1998, and a the text of an address by de Blij to the NCGE annual meeting.

Comments

March 31, 2014 at 7:39 am
(1) Mary Lawson says:

I met Harm through Florida Geographic Alliance. What a wonderful man who made geography come alive. I enjoyed watching him on Good Morning America when he was their geographer. He will greatly be missed.

March 31, 2014 at 7:58 am
(2) Lazarus Zanamwe says:

Very sad indeed. I used his text books as part of my teaching of undergraduate regional geography courses at the Department of Geography, University of Zimbabwe from 1990. as a young lecturer at the time I found them very useful. the constant updates made sure that i was never out of new materials. the test packs also came in very handy for me and my fellow lecturers.

he had good innings in the regional geography front.

May his soul rest in peace.

March 31, 2014 at 9:41 am
(3) Prof. Joe says:

Sad news , indeed.
I use, and will continue to use, Harm’s text with my students. He was quite a role model for me.
Harm had quite a story to tell, including his younger days in the Netherlands during the Second World War, when he suffered much along with many other Dutch.
I will remember a special email I received from Harm after I had emailed him a photo of our chartered tallship, the Dutch windjammer Stad Amsterdam- where my Study Abroad class was taking place. He noted how much happiness it had given him to see the flag of Holland flying from such a wonderful ship.

Fair winds a following sea for you from now on, Harm.

March 31, 2014 at 9:50 am
(4) Patricia Ojea says:

Professor De Blij was one of my guiding forces in regional geography. I quoted him often. May his soul rest in peace

April 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm
(5) Steve Nisbet says:

The field of Geography has lost a important leader & educator. I, too, remember his GMA segments, which made Geography come alive. I have used his text, Realms, Regions & Concepts, in World Geography teaching for many years.

April 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm
(6) George Gauthier says:

I just checked Amazon. His books are too expensive for my budget though I do have the hardcover of his “Why Geography Matters” on my shelves. Try the public library.

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