George came to Princeton from Palo Alto (Calif.) High School. He majored in philosophy and wrote his thesis on John Locke. “He majored in philosophy because it had the fewest requirements for graduation so he could explore many classes,” said his son, Jeff ’91. “His GPA was saved by the many biology and biochemistry classes he took.” George was social chairman of his eating club, Key and Seal. “He got John Lee Hooker to play Houseparties, which made him popular with his blues-loving friends and unpopular with all the people that wanted to dance with their dates,” Jeff said.
George married Linda Sallander (Stanford ’62) right after graduating from Princeton. He went to UC Berkeley to study forensic science in the criminology program, uniting his love of biology and true crime. He earned a doctorate in 1969, then did postdoctoral work at UC San Diego and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now part of the Crick Institute) in London. In 1973, he returned to UC Berkeley as an assistant professor in the forensic science program.
George worked with crime labs around the world to set up standards for DNA use. He taught DNA fingerprinting at the FBI and did research at Scotland Yard. In the mid-1990s, he transitioned to Berkeley’s School of Public Health and was eventually made dean. He retired in 2012.
George is survived by his wife of 59 years, Linda; his son, Jeff; and daughter, Laura.