George Wilson was born George Homer Willson, Jr., on October 14, 1902 in Jackson, Ohio. His father, George Homer Willson, was born in 1862 in Ohio. His mother, Anne J. Longstreth, was born in 1865 in Ohio. His parents married in 1862 and had four children, of which he was the youngest. Lola (b. 1898), Ira (b. 1899), Cyril (b.1901), and George (b. 1902). The family lived in a farm community, where the father owned and operated a general merchandise store.
The children all attended local public school.
He did not serve in the military during the Great War, at which time he was still a high school student.
He graduated from high school In Jackson in June of 1920. His older brothers worked as machinists for a local construction company, but he was interested in a career as a commercial artist.
In the autumn of 1924 at the age of twenty-two he moved to New York City to seek his fortune as a commercial artist. He began his new life by shortening his family name from "Willson" to "Wilson."
He attended The New York School of Fine and Applied Art at 2239 Broadway, which was on West 80th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He rented a spare room from a family in an apartment building a few blocks away at 57 West 90th Street.
In 1928 he moved to a rooming house at 158 West 84th Street, which was a few blocks closer to the school.
In 1929 he completed his studies and began to work as a freelance artist.
In 1930 he described himself as a "commercial artist at a Publishing House." He also said he was, "actively engaged in advertising art, lettering, story illustration, magazine cover painting, portraiture and landscape painting."
He fell in love with a Brooklyn beauty named Catherine Palinsky and asked her to marry him. She was born in 1910 in Poland. On April 28, 1930 a another suitor became despondent at the news of her engagement and attempted suicide.
Despite the emotional shock of this traumatic incident, George Wilson married Catherine Palinksy two weeks later on May 12, 1930 in Manhattan Civil Court. The newlyweds moved to 23-30 Twenty-third Street in Astoria, Queens, Long Island, NY. They did not have any children.
He was a friend of Elliott Dold, the artist and brother of Douglas Dold, who worked as a writer and editor with Harold Hersey on several pulp magazines at Clayton Publications. The Dold brothers lived at home with their widowed father, who was the head of a renowned psychiatric hospital, The River Crest Sanitarium of Astoria Queens, which was at the intersection of Ditmars Boulevard and Crescent Street. This institution was only two blocks away from the Wilson family home.
On May 6, 1931 Douglas Dold died at the age of forty-three.
In 1932 George Wilson bought a second property in Astoria two blocks away at 24-21 Twenty-fourth Street, which he used as an art studio.
He drew pen and ink interior story illustrations for pulp magazines, such as All-Story Love, High Seas Adventure, Pirate Stories, New Mystery Adventures, Underworld, and Underworld Detective Magazine.
He also painted covers for Underworld Detective Magazine and New Mystery Adventure Magazine. These were both produced under the editorial supervision of Harold Hersey.
In 1933 George Wilson started a unique correspondence art school, which he advertised in pulp magazines. In exchange for twenty-five cents he offered, "a personal analysis of artistic ability and a free trial lesson in a new, modern, up-to-date art course that is designed to help those who are poor but ambitious to learn."
From 1940 to 1942 George Wilson drew, inked and signed comic books for three publishers, Ace, Centaur, and Fiction House. His familiar signature appears on the "splash" page. He drew White Hunter of the African Safari for Jungle Comics #1 (January 1940, Fiction House). He drew The Sentinel for both Liberty Scouts #3 (August 1941, Centaur) and Man of War Comics (November 1941, Centaur). He drew Paul Revere Jr. for Banner Comics #1 (September 1941, Ace). He drew The Raven for Four Favorites Comic #3 (January 1942, Ace). He drew Kay McKay - Air Hostess for Banner Comics #4 (December 1941, Ace) and also for Captain Courageous Comics #1 (March 1942, Ace).
In 1942 his father died in Jackson, Ohio, at the age of eighty.
In 1946 he and his wife testified before the New York Supreme Court as plaintiffs in a malpractice trial of an incompetent physician who treated women that suffered from chronic infertility.
After WWII he and his wife earned extra income by renting out a portion of their home as a furnished two-room apartment with private bath and refrigerator.
On December 9, 1950 they held a wedding reception in their home for one former tenant, Miss Dorothy Shumay, who married Werner Weber, a young draftsman who had attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
George Wilson died in New York City at the age of sixty-eight on July 11, 1970.
© David Saunders 2013