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Register of the Papers of



6 ft.

MSS 22


Michael M. Dorizas was born to Greek parents in Constantinople where his father was First Secretary of the Greek Legation.  He was educated in Turkey and attended Roberts College, an American institution in Constantinople.

During his college years Mike Dorizas was a member of the Greek Olympic team.  In 1906 he won the world championship stone throw.  He won second place in the javelin throw in the 1908 Olympic games and competed successfully in other events, including the pentathlon.  While attending graduate school in the United States he was involved in intercollegiate athletics, and became famous for his skills at wrestling and weight throwing.

Dorizas entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1914 to study geography.  The following year he won a scholarship in anthropology.  In 1916 he received the M.A. degree and in 1924 earned his Ph.D., also from the University of Pennsylvania.  While a graduate student he was an instructor at a prep school where he taught history, geography, and French.  He became an assistant professor of geography at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, a position which Dr. Dorizas held until his death in October of 1957.  He was extremely well-liked by his students and several times was elected most popular professor on campus; his classes were always filled to capacity.

Dorizas traveled extensively each summer for the purposes of studying and gathering materials for his geography lectures.  During the academic year he lectured to profession, fraternal, and civic groups and at other schools, saving his lecture fees for summer travel and study.


The Michael M. Dorizas Papers were received by the Balch Institute as a gift of Dr. Katina Dorizas in 1974.


The Michael M. Dorizas papers include correspondence, clippings, notes and writings, and course materials.  The papers have been divided into the following series: personal, university, and lecture.  Within each series material has been divided by record type and arranged chronologically with the exception of geography notes which are arranged alphabetically by country.  Photographs have been transferred to the photographic collection and comprise Photo Group 119.  Additional papers of Michael M. Dorizas are held by the University Archives, University of Pennsylvania.

The box list of the Register of the Papers of Michael M. Dorizas is seven pages long.