Melvin G. Marcus

1929 - 1997

On Sunday, March 2, 1997, Melvin G. Marcus, geographer, climatologist, and glacial geomorphologist, died of a heart attack under the clear skies, in the dazzling snows of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado at 11,000 feet. Mel died with his snowshoes on; he was found lying in the snow with his dog, Sushi, curled up beside him.

At 6’6″, Melvin Marcus was a big man, and he lived a big life. He climbed mountains, studied glaciers, flew airplanes, and roamed the world. He kept the fires of physical geography burning at a time when studies of human use of the landscape dominated the field, was instrumental in the formation of AAG specialty groups, attracted hordes of field-oriented students to the discipline of geography, was a beacon for geographic education and outreach, and lived life with gusto and élan. Never one to separate his work from family, friends, and personal interests, Mel lived a multidimensional life in which his wife and children were intimately engaged in his research and teaching, his students became lifelong friends, and his personal interests in exploration, sport, literature, art, food, and music were intertwined into a broad, all encompassing view of geography.

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To cite this article: William Graf, Patricia Gober & Anthony J. Brazel (2001) Melvin G. Marcus, 1929–1997, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91:4, 724-733, DOI: 10.1111/0004-5608.00271

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