George M. Burditt, Jr., past Governor of the Illinois Society of Colonial Wars and Friend of the Newberry Library, passed away earlier this month. George was a longstanding supporter of genealogy at the library. He generously underwrote Newberry genealogy public programs for a number of years in honor of his wife Barbara, who also was a Newberry patron and friend extraordinaire.
In addition to his genealogy interests, George led a very active life. Following Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the Air Corps and flew B-24s, B-17s, and C-47s in the Air Transport Command during World War II. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1948 and specialized in food, drug and medical device law in Chicago, representing clients in 32 federal and state courts throughout the country. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1964 to 1972 and ran against Adlai Stevenson in 1974 for U.S. Senate.
George also served as the president of the Chicago Bar Association, Harvard Law School Association, Citizens of Greater Chicago, and the Chicago Civic Association, and received several awards, including two honorary street names in Chicago, the John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association, and the Defender of Justice Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, among many other commendations.
George leaves behind his widow, M.J., four children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The Newberry extends our sympathies to George’s family. He will be greatly missed.