W. L. G. Joerg

Wolfgang Louis Gottfried Joerg, better known as W. L. G. Joerg (February 6, 1885 - January 7, 1952) was an American geographer, and in particular an expert in the geography of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, who exercised broad influence on the field in various positions, ultimately as Chief Archivist of the Cartographic Records Branch of the National Archives.[1][2]

Joerg, was born in Brooklyn, New York.[2] A prodigy, Joerg graduated from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Preparatory School at the age of fourteen.[1] He was fluent in many languages, and studied in Germany, at Thomas Gymnasium and the University of Leipzig, from 1901 to 1904, then studied geography and surveying at Columbia University for a year.[1] After returning to Germany for a five year stint at the University of Göttingen in Germany, Joerg entered into employment with the American Geographical Society in 1911, where he would remain until 1937 when he left the Society to accept the post of Chief of the Division of Maps and Charts in the National Archives and Record Administration in Washington, D.C.[2] Joerg was the first employee of the society to have had advanced university training in modern geography.[2]

Joerg published many books articles on geography, including volumes on the geography of the polar regions.[1] Although he personally never travelled to the polar regions, he was considered to be the world's greatest expert on the geography of these regions.[1]

His early death was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Herman R. Frits, Arctic Institute of North America, W. L. G. JOERG (1885-1952).
  2. 1 2 3 4 John K. Wright, "Obituary: W. L. G. Joerg 1885-1952", Geographical Review, published by the American Geographical Society, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul., 1952), pp. 482-488.
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