Profile: Gerald F. Pyle


Gerald Pyle was born and raised near Akron, Ohio. He earned his BA degree in Geography at Kent State University in 1963, after which he worked as a cartographer at Rand McNally in Chicago for two years. He then earned his AM (1968) and PhD (1970) at the University of Chicago, where he worked on the ground-breaking Chicago Regional Hospital Study. He began his academic career at the University of Akron (Ohio), where he published more than 20 books and articles, including the widely adopted Applied Medical Geography (1979). He migrated to North Carolina, Charlotte, in 1980 where he wrote extensively on the diffusion of influenza and AIDS, often with his colleague and friend, historian David Patterson. He became known for his insightful writing and unique cartographic style on diffusion maps, such as those in his book, The Diffusion of Influenza: Patterns and Paradigms (Rowman and Littlefield, 1986), and his important paper on the origin and diffusion of AIDS in the Annals, Association of American Geographers, in 1989.

Dr. Pyle s research during the 1990s ranged from the international (diffusion of cholera in Russia, ethnic conflict, culture, and healthcare in Bosnia and Croatia, hepatitis and AIDS in Croatia) to the local he wrote broadly on health problems, particularly AIDS, in the State of North Carolina (Health and Disease in the North Carolina Atlas, 2000). His books on The Geography of AIDS (Guilford, 1991), and the Atlas of Disease and Health Care in the United States (MacMillan, 1993), were widely acclaimed. During the early 2000s, he researched health issues involving low-income children in North Carolina.

Jerry has held university positions in South Carolina, and Macquarie University in Australia. His honors include Phi Kappa Honor Society, Richard King Mellon Fellowship (1968), Economic Development Administration Fellowship (1969), Fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science (1976), Chicago Geographic Society Publication Award (1991), the First Citizen s Award for Creativity and Scholarship, and Research Honors Award, Southeastern Division AAG (1994).

He is currently enjoying involvement with Charlotte s art community. He is on the Board and Treasurer of the Guild of Charlotte Artists. Primarily working in pen and ink (with antique cartographic implements), he has won awards, sold a few works, and worked on commissions. He also periodically consults for local health care organizations.

Jerry may be contacted at

Updated: Gerald F Pyle, Emeritus Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA Throughout his career, Jerry has focused on geographic approaches to the analysis of disease, health, and health services He was a Senior Editor (Medical Geography) and, later, Book Review Editor for Social Science