Edward Alan John George, Baron George, GBE, PC, DL (16 September 1938 - 18 April 2009), known as Eddie George, or "Steady Eddie", was Governor of the Bank of England from 1993 to 2003 and sat on the board of Rothschild.
1 Early life,
2 Financial career,
3 Later life,
4 Personal life,
George was born and grew up in Carshalton, the son of Alan, a Post Office clerk, and his wife Olive. He attended the independent school Dulwich College on a scholarship. He carried out his National Service at the Joint Services School for Linguists, where he learnt to speak Russian. He attended and graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
George joined the Bank of England in 1962. Apart from secondments to Moscow State University, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, he remained there throughout his career.
He was appointed Governor of the Bank of England in 1993, succeeding Robin Leigh-Pemberton, now Lord Kingsdown, and retired on the completion of his second five-year term of office on 30 June 2003. During the early part of his governance his successful relationship with then-Chancellor Ken Clarke gained for them the nickname of 'the Ken and Eddie Show'. Upon Labour coming to power the Bank was given independence in setting UK interest rates by Gordon Brown, the incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was succeeded as Governor of the Bank of England in July 2003 by Mervyn King.
George attracted controversy in 1998 when he was widely reported to have made a statement to London newspaper executives implying that unemployment in the north of England was a price worth paying to preserve affluence in the south of the country. He later claimed that his remarks had been misconstrued.
George served as a Governor of his former school, Dulwich College, between 1998 and 2008, and served as the Chairman of the Governors between 2003 and 2008.
On 18 April 2009, George, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer.
George married Vanessa George, Lady George (née Williams) in Surrey in 1962. They had three children.
George was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours. He was made a life peer in June 2004 as Baron George, of St Tudy in the County of Cornwall. He was awarded an honorary D.Sc. by the University of Buckingham on 4 March 2000, and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall in March 2006.
Arms of Edward George, Baron George
Coronet of a Baron
A Dragon sejant erect Gules holding between the forefeet a Bezant
Paly of four Or and Argent a Barrulet dancetty of two points upwards and one point downwards each point terminating in a Cinquefoil pierced Sable interlaced with a Barrulet dancetty of two points downwards and one point upwards each point terminating in a Cinquefoil pierced Gules
On either side a Vanessid Butterfly Or the wings Argent the outer margins Or
A Sword point downwards Gules the blade surmounted by a Vanessid Butterfly Or the wings displayed Argent the outer margins Or
The barrulets in the Arms suggest graphs of credit and debit, appropriate for the Governor of the Bank of England and set on the metallic tinctures of Gold and Argent for coinage. The dragon is not only appropriate for the guardianship of treasure but is also associated with the name George. The Vanessid butterflies are a punning allusion on Vanessa, the name of Lord George's wife. In the Badge the butterfly surmounts a red sword for the City of London.