Dr. Berry is the Lloyd Viel Berkner Regental Professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. Born in England in 1934, he received his B.Sc. (Economics) degree at University College, London in 1955, his M.A. in Geography in 1956 and the Ph.D. degree in 1958, both at the University of Washington, Seattle. In 1958 he became Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, rising to Professor in 1965. When he left Chicago for Harvard University in 1976 he was the Irving B. Harris Professor of Urban Geography, Chairman of the Department of Geography and Director of the Center for Urban Studies. At Harvard he became the Frank Backus Williams Professor of City and Regional Planning, Chairman of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Planning, Director of the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Faculty Fellow of the Harvard Institute for International Development. Harvard awarded him an honorary degree in 1976. He left Harvard in 1981 to become Dean of the (now) Heinz College and University Professor of Urban Studies and Public Policy at Carnegie-Mellon University, positions that he held until moving to The University of Texas at Dallas in 1986, becoming Founders Professor and Professor of Political Economy in the School of Social Sciences. He helped found and was first director of UTD’s Bruton Center for Development Studies and was named Lloyd Viel Berkner Regental Professor by The University of Texas System Board of Regents 1 January 1991. Reluctantly, he agreed to take on an administrative role once again when, in 2005, he became dean of the (then) School of Social Sciences, transforming it during a period of rapid growth into the (now) School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. He left the deanship in 2010, returning to the professorial role he loves best: working one-on-one with doctoral students at the dissertation stage.
Dr. Berry’s early urban and regional research helped spark the scientific revolution that occurred in geography and urban research in the 1960s. In the early 1960s he became the world’s most frequently cited geographer, a ranking maintained for more than a quarter-century. After moving to Texas his inquiries turned to long-wave rhythms in the economy, society and polity. Throughout his career he has been concerned with bridging theory and practice and has been heavily involved in urban and regional planning in both advanced and developing countries. Frequently called on as an advisor, consultant, and expert witness, his contributions have been made in cities as diverse as Chicago and Calcutta, Jakarta and Melbourne and his regional development expertise has been applied in areas from Appalachia to Magellanes to Indonesia. He is the author of more than 550 books, articles, planning reports and other professional publications and he has been honored many times.
In 1974 he was elected a Fellow of the Urban Land Institute, in 1975 was the youngest member of the economic, political or social sciences ever to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1976 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and became a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. In 1978-9 he was President of the Association of American Geographers. In 1983 he was elected a Fellow of his alma mater, University College, London, and in 1987 he became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded the James R. Anderson Medal of Honor by the Association of American Geographers. In 1988 he received the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society and in 1989 was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1990 he became a Fellow of the Weimar School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate and Land Economics and the Homer Hoyt Institute, in 1992 received the Rockefeller Prize in the Social Sciences, and in 1995 was inducted a Distinguished Fellow of the Southern Regional Science Association. In 1999 he became the first geographer to be elected to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and in 2000 he received title to the Lordship of Hastingleigh (Co. Kent). In 2004 he became a founding member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas and in the same year was granted the right to bear Arms, Crest and Badge by the College of Arms (a branch of the Royal Household) in London. He was named Distinguished Alumnus in the Social Sciences by the University of Washington in 2005 and in the same year was named Lauréat of the Prix International de Géographie “Vautrin Lud” (Geography’s Nobel Prize). In 2006 he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and in 2007 received the Walter Isard Award for Scholarly Achievement from the North American Council of the Regional Science Association International. The University of Washington added a “Timeless” award at its 150th birthday celebration in 2012. Later that year he was elected a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International. In 2017 the International N.D Kondratieff Foundation named him a Kondratieff Medal Laureate and in 2020 he received the American Association of Geographers’ Stan Brunn Award for Scholarly Creativity.