Alvin A. Munn
Alvin Munn died February 3, 2012 in Fort Myers, Florida.
Munn earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1942. After service with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, Munn received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. In 1948, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he eventually became senior geographer with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Munn also earned a degree from the National War College, in 1966. As DIA senior geographer, he regularly briefed the Director of the DIA and the U.S. Secretary of Defense and served as a U.S. representative to NATO. As a member of the Military Geographic Documentation Working Group, he conducted key intelligence briefings and was actively involved in decision making during the Cuban Missile Crisis and other critical situations.
Munn published the article, “The Role of Geographers in the Department of Defense” in the August 1980 edition of The Professional Geographer, in which he estimated that 500 people with geography degrees were working for the Department of Defense (DOD) around the world. In the article, Munn stressed that the reputation enjoyed by geographers at the DOD was based on their ability to synthesize many sources of data from a wide range of sciences and provide cogent analyses.
An active member of the AAG, Munn served as association treasurer in 1967. He was a 63-year member of the AAG, having joined in January of 1949.
Alvin A. Munn (Necrology). 2012. AAG Newsletter 47(6): 28.