Henry J. Bruman, 91; UCLA Geography Professor, Benefactor

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Henry J. Bruman, 91, a longtime UCLA geography professor who helped create a highly regarded map library and endowed concerts and other programs at the Westwood campus, died March 6 at his Westwood home of a heart attack.

A Berlin native who came to Los Angeles when he was 8, Bruman earned undergraduate degrees from UCLA in chemistry and geography before receiving a doctorate in geography from UC Berkeley in 1940.

He joined the UCLA faculty in 1945 and over the next four decades played a major role in the development of its geography department.

He headed the department from 1957 to 1962.


He was known as an expert in Latin American cultural-historical geography, plant geography and land use in the American West, and on the career of German nature researcher and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Shortly before his retirement in 1983, Bruman established an educational foundation that created endowed chairs at UCLA in geography and German history.

He made large donations to the UCLA library, which named its map library in his honor in 1987.

He was also a major underwriter of a chamber music festival at UCLA that bore his name.