Sanford Bederman

1932 - 2021

Sanford Bederman

Sanford H. Bederman, 89, of Johns Creek, Georgia, died on 19 August 2021 from complications of cancer. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and a U.S. Army veteran who served in Germany in the 1950s, he received his M.A. from Louisiana State University in 1957, and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota in 1973.

Bederman began teaching at Georgia State College of Business Administration in 1959, and in 1974 he was promoted to Full Professor at what became Georgia State University.  His primary area of interest was Africa, with time spent in the field in Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya and Morocco pursuing research supported by the NSF, the Rockefeller Foundation and Georgia State University. Over the years, Bederman held several visiting professorships including at Queen Mary University, University of London.

Bederman was recognized as a gifted teacher who taught and advised generations of students and was also a prolific writer, with many publications including articles in The Oxford Companion to Exploration for which he served as the Africa Section editor.

Bederman retired from GSU in 1992, concluding 34 years of service. From 1993-95 he was a Visiting Professor at The University of Georgia, and thereafter he continued to teach at the Senior University of Greater Atlanta. Bederman was active in The Society for the History of Discoveries, serving as Executive Secretary in 2006. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.