July 27

George Foster Peabody

July 27, 1852 - Columbus

He is the namesake of the most prestigious prize in journalism.

George Foster Peabody was born in Columbus in 1852. His parents were New Englanders. They moved to New York after the Civil War, when George was 14. Peabody had a natural aptitude for business and finance, and managed railroad accounts for a New York investment firm. He was also involved in the creation of General Electric and served on its board.

Peabody was a wealthy man by age 50. He spent most of his life and fortune thereafter supporting worthy causes, especially southern educational institutions for African Americans, including the Penn School in South Carolina, Hampton Institute in Virginia, and Tuskegee in Alabama. He retired from business in 1906 and became one of the University of Georgia’s main benefactors, which honored Peabody in 1941 with the creation of the Peabody Awards, the most prestigious and oldest award for electronic media in the world.

One of Georgia’s great philanthropists was born on July 27, 1852, Today in Georgia History.