John L. George, professor emeritus of wildlife management, who helped create federal legislation, including the Endangered Species Act, died Nov. 1. George, 83, worked at Penn State for 18 years.
George received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1937, a master's degree in 1941 and two doctorates, one in wildlife biology in 1952 and the other in ornithology, all from the University of Michigan.
After serving in the Navy from 1942 to 1946, George joined Vassar College as an assistant professor. He was at Vassar from 1951 to 1957. From 1957 to 1958, he was the associate curator of mammals for the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo). From 1958 to 1963, he was a research staff specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D.C., where he also was a chief government expert on pesticide ecology. His early work on DDT contributed to its eventual ban.
George was professor of wildlife management from 1963 to 1981 at Penn State.
A member of six honor societies and nine conservation societies, George received numerous awards throughout his life.
George helped draw up, through testimony, federal legislation that included the National Environment Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. In addition, he helped formulate similar Pennsylvania legislation.
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