George Arvid Peterson died Nov. 21, 2008, at home in Washington, D.C., after a courageous, yearlong battle with brain cancer.
George’s life was celebrated Dec. 13 at the Grosvenor Auditorium of the National Geographic Society, where he worked for 26 years in a career ranging from filmstrip editor to vice president and director of educational media. He led the society’s pioneering efforts to develop software and other technological breakthroughs for use in K-12 classrooms.
George came to Princeton from Phillips Academy, Andover. His father was Fred Peterson ’34 and his brother was David ’61. George was a politics major, a member of Cottage Club, and an assertive member of the varsity hockey team.
After graduation, George worked as a photojournalist and traveled extensively. He graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1970 and joined National Geographic’s educational division. His first marriage ended in divorce.
George retired in 1996 to begin a second career as an artist. His colorful figurative paintings can be seen in galleries in Nantucket, Hunter, N.Y., and Washington. He is exhibited internationally through the State Department’s Art in Embassies program.
George was thoughtful, curious, optimistic, and multitalented. He is deeply mourned. He is survived by his wife, Ibby Jeppson; stepchildren Lizzie O’Leary and Jake Jeppson; stepmother Janet Gaston; and his brother and sister.