Terry Jordan

1938 - 2003

Past president of the Association of American Geographers, died at his home in Austin, Texas, on 16 October 2003, from pancreatic cancer. (In recognition of his 1997 marriage, he began using the name Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov as his professional nom de plume, while retaining his birth name for other purposes). Born in Dallas in 1938 as a sixth generation Texan, Terry earned his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin (where he met Walter Prescott Webb) and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His dissertation was later published as German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas (1966). This was to be the first of fifteen authored or co-authored books and textbooks published during his lifetime. These include The Upland South: The Making of an American Folk Region and Landscape (2003); The American Backwoods Frontier: an Ethnic and Ecological Interpretation (with M. Kaups, 1989), one of a handful of books that offer a truly original interpretation of the American identity; and The Human Mosaic: A Thematic Introduction to Cultural Geography (nine editions 1976-2003, with Mona Domosh and Lester Rowntree), a classic textbook. At the time of his death he had completed field research in sixty-five countries, reflected in books and journal articles focused on Australia, Siberia, and the European source regions of Texas folk culture. A book expressing his view of the discipline, My Kind of Geography, is forthcoming. Terry was elected President of the Association of American Geographers (1987-88) and also received the AAG Honors Award in 1982 and Distinguished Scholar Award from the AAG American Ethnic Geography Specialty Group. For many years he chaired the geography department at the University of North Texas before joining the Department of Geography at the University of Texas at Austin in 1982 as the Walter Prescott Webb Professor of History and Ideas. He received awards for his work from the Pioneer America Society, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Texas State Historical Association, Texas Heritage Council, American Association for State and Local History, and the Agricultural History Society. He was elected a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, and a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association. Sessions in Terry’s honor have been organized by his students for the 2004 AAG Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. In accordance with his family’s wishes, donations in Terry’s name may be may be made to the UT Department of Geography and sent to the Department of Geography, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712.

Terry Gilbert Jordan (Necrology). 2003. AAG Newsletter 38(11): 26.