Henry Bruman died March 6, 2005, of a heart attack. Bruman, was a longtime University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) geography professor who helped create a highly regarded map library and other programs at the Westwood campus.
A Berlin native who came to Los Angeles at age eight, Bruman earned undergraduate degrees from UCLA in chemistry and geography before receiving a doctorate in geography from UC Berkeley in 1940. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1945 and over the next four decades played a major role in the development of its geography department, acting as chair of the department from 1957 to 1962.
Bruman was an assistant professor of geography at UCLA in 1946, when he called together geography educators from across the state to discuss the status of geography in the schools of California beginning what is now know as the California Geographical Society.
Bruman was known as an expert in Latin American cultural-historical geography, plant geography and land use in the American West, and on the career of German nature researcher and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.
Shortly before his retirement in 1983, Bruman established an educational foundation that created endowed chairs at UCLA in geography and German history. He made large donations to the UCLA library, which named its map library in his honor in 1987.
Henry J. Bruman (Necrology). 2005. AAG Newsletter 40(5): 21.