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Notable Alumni

Henry Gannett

Henry Gannett



Henry Gannett (1846-1914): Gannett served as geographer of the U.S. censuses of 1880, 1890, and 1900, as well as the Philippine, Cuban, and Puerto Rican censuses. During this time, he became interested in place names. Gannett's efforts to resolve difficulties caused by proliferation, duplication, and confusion of place names led to the establishment of the U.S. Board of Geographic Names in 1890. He served as the board's chairman until 1910. Gannet was also the driving force behind the 1880 and 1890 versions of the Statistical Atlas of the United States, which are often considered to be a high point in early census cartography.

In 1909, Gannett served as chairman of a special committee tasked with reviewing the competing claims of Robert Peary and Frederick Cook who each claimed to have reached the North Pole in 1909. He ultimately ruled in favor of Peary in December 1909.

Gannett was one of the founders of the Association of American Geographers and the National Geographic Society, serving as its president from 1910 to 1914. He died in Washington, DC, on November 5, 1914.


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: February 03, 2021