| Overall UK Wins: 1 | Overall UK Losses: 0 | Win % 100 |
Date of Birth: November 8, 1913
Date of Death: November 26, 1987
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
For a generalized listing of officials, please consult this page.
|12/31/1960||Missouri at Kentucky||W||81 - 69||20||23||36||26||1||0||Missouri Bench; Allen Feldhaus||Claude Tanksley and Alex George|
Obituary - Kansas City (MO) Times (November 27, 1987)
KC Sports, Civic Leader Alex George Dead at 73
by Bill Richardson
Alex George, a Kansas City sports and civic leader, died Thursday at Saint Joseph Health Center after suffering a heart attack the previous day. He was 73.
George was president of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, a group of 150 area business people formed in 1966 to rally support for the area's professional teams and to work toward the formation of sports facilities.
The group more than fulfilled its initial mission.
A season-ticket drive in 1966 helped keep the Chiefs in Kansas City. The commission was also instrumental in getting an expansion baseball franchise, the Royals, from the American League after the Kansas City A's moved to Oakland, Calif., at the end of the 1967 season.
The commission also pushed for the passage of bonds to build the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, which opened in 1972 as a home for the Chiefs and the Royals.
George spent a lifetime in sports and was just as enthusiastic about amateur athletics as he was the professional variety. He served as chairman of the board of the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Commission. He was a manager in the Ban Johnson amateur baseball league and was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Special Olympics of Missouri and Kansas.
A recreational area for handicapped children and adults was named in his honor.
"Alex was one of the great people of our community," said Harry Wiggins, Missouri state senator and a longtime associate of George in sports and civic endeavors. "He was our most famous sports personality as well as a beloved citizen. Everybody who wanted to do something good for the community wanted him on their team."
Earl Smith, chairman of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, said the group evolved from a Missouri sports commission appointed by Gov. John Dalton in 1953.
"Several of our members moved out of state, and I was going to let the charter run out," Smith said. "Then Mayor Ike Davis heard about it and said we had too many fine people in the community involved and he'd like for us to form a group like it for Kansas City. Alex George was one of the first persons I got hold of to serve on the commission. And his loss is one I'm afraid we can't fill."
Smith said George's enthusiasm and drive to help others carried through to his final days.
"He never slowed down," Smith said. "He couldn't say no to anybody, Alex was a very warm person and dedicated himself to anything good for this community and to helping people."
George was active in tennis most of his life. He and Len Prosser, 77, were doubles partners from 1938 to 1970.
"We won 169 championships mostly in the open division," Prosser said. "A lot of kids who met us regretted it later. One of them was Tony Trabert in his young days. Every summer we were in about 15 tournaments and practiced together four or five nights a week."
George was a football and basketball official in the Big Eight Conference for 25 years, working four NCAA basketball finals and 10 postseason football bowl games.
George was the referee in Kansas' 12th-man loss to Penn State in the Orange Bowl game Jan. 1, 1969. Kansas had stopped a two-point conversion attempt by Penn State, but the play was nullified by a penalty against Kansas for having an extra player on the field. Given the reprieve, Penn State scored the two-point conversion on a run with 15 seconds left, winning 15-14.
George didn't have time to let Kansas fans forget about him as an official.
"I remember Alex told me that after the game he had to catch a plane back to Kansas City because he had to officiate at a basketball game in Lawrence within 48 hours." Wiggins said.
George had a lifelong love for sports.
One of George's close friends once told him, "Alex, you know. I don't think you ever worked a day in your life."
To which George responded, "It's true what they say. I never worked a day in my life because I've been in sports all my life. I love sports, and to me it isn't work. God has given me the greatest life a person could have."
George, who was the public-relations director for King Louie Bowling Corp. became president of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission when it was reorganized in 1970 and continued to serve as its leader until his death.
George, a family man, missed few bases in his life of sports, which stretched from the dusty baseball diamond at Spring Valley Park at 28th Street and Garfield to immense stadiums where he officiated football games.
George probably knew as many or more people than anybody in this area.
"You should go in politics, Alex," a close friend told him.
George replied: "That's not my game."
But political figures called on George's wide range of knowledge in Kansas City area sports.
In 1984, Jackson County Executive Bill Waris appointed George and five other persons to the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission to set goals for the Parks and Recreation Department. The Jackson County Legislature included George among three nominees for a vacancy on the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority earlier this month.
A four-sport star at Central High School and member of the 1930 state basketball championship club, George played professional baseball, excelled in tennis and managed in the Ban Johnson baseball league.
From 1943 to 1958, George was director of the Catholic Youth Organization. He guided the Catholic League athletic program. He also helped form the Kansas City 3&2 Baseball League.
His football playing career ended when he injured a knee as a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, but in 1934 he signed to play professional baseball for the Yankee's farm team in Joplin, Mo.
George played two seasons in the minors.
After breaking in as a basketball official in city recreation leagues, George began working Interscholastic League basketball games in 1939.
In 1972, George retired as an official after 25 years in the Big Eight.
"I figure I worked about 500 football and 1,500 basketball games in college," George said.
George, who said he called only one technical foul in basketball, was the smiling type of official but one with exceptional ability, which led to appointments to work major college postseason events.
He was president of the Saint Joseph Health Center Advisory Council in 1986 and 1987. He was also a former Missouri state governor of Optimist International. He was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth R. George of the home, a son, Alex "T." George, Kansas City; a daughter, Janice M. Stewart, Overland Park; two sisters, Elizabeth Wilson, Shawnee; and Nellie Embleau, Kansas City; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas More church; burial in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Raytown. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today in the More Hall of the church, where the rosary will be said at 7:30 p.m. The family suggests contributions to the Special Olympics, the Little Sisters of the Poor or the De LaSalle Education Center.