Derwent S. Whittlesey, professor of Geography and one of the leading political geographers in the country, died yesterday after a short illness.
Well-known as an author, traveler-researcher, and historian, he served as a consultant for the U.S. State, War, and Navy Departments during World War II, and was the author of many books and articles on geographic aspects of war and national power. He was also an expert on Africa, and had made several trips there gathering material. He was working on a book about Africa at the time of his death.
Whittlesey was the only professor of Geography at Harvard. He taught courses in political geography, geography of the Boston region, and geography of Africa.
His political geography course was based on "The changing map pattern of the contemporary political world."
Born in Pecatonia, III., in 1890, he attended the University of Chicago, receiving his PhD there in 1920. He taught at Chicago from 1919 to 1928, becoming an associate professor of Geography. In 1928 he came to Harvard and was made a full professor in 1943.
He was a member of the Association of American Geographers, and was President of the Association in 1944 and Honorary President in 1954. He also edited the Association's Annals for 12 years.
Professor Whittlesey leaves a brother and a sister. Funeral arrangements will be announced today.