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Larry Ford Larry Ford

In Memoriam: Larry Ford

The geography professor, one of the world's top urban thinkers, passed away on Sept. 17.
By Stuart C. Aitken

It is with great sadness that the Deaprtment of Geography announces the passing of professor Larry Ford on Sept. 17, 2009. 

Top urban thinker

A 2009 Planetizen poll amongst architects and planners ranked Ford amongst the world’s top 100 urban thinkers, along with other notables such as Frederick Law Olmstead, William H. Whyte and Thomas Jefferson.

Within the disciplines of geography, urban planning, anthropology and sociology, Ford was well known for his conceptual models of urban structure, many of which were developed over 30 years ago and still appear in today’s introductory text books. 

Ford authored six books, including the influential Cities and Buildings, as well as more than 100 journal articles and other publications. Recently, he published an acclaimed book on San Diego neighborhoods. 

An award-filled career

Over his career, all of which was spent at SDSU, Ford received numerous awards for his teaching, writing and service. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Ford’s sense of humor and his famous puns endeared him to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. 

Celebrating Ford

Part of the upcoming meetings of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers in San Diego will be used as a celebration of Ford’s life. Please get in touch with Stuart Aitken via e-mail at for details.

Ford’s passing is a huge loss to geography and to SDSU.