George Fox – Ski Racer, Auctioneer, Raconteur, Yodeler

_DSC5396 resizeIt is with great sadness that PBA Galleries announces that George King Fox, Auctioneer Emeritus of PBA Galleries, passed away on Sunday, October 29 2017. As Head Auctioneer, George was the beloved face of PBA. With his bow tie, sharp wit and grand smile, he had a style all his own and will be greatly missed. He had been with PBA for over 25 years and developed many of our specialties including golf and counter-culture literature.

George was a fine collector in his own right starting his collection as a youth. He passionately collected 19th century American printed ephemera, trade cards, the history of color printing in America and fine press books. George was a fixture at all San Francisco bibliophile organizations.

_DSC5378 resizeHe served as president of the Book Club of California, Master of the Press of the Roxburghe Club, and Board Member of the Ephemera Society. He was also an active member of the Historical Print Collectors Society, had been elected as a member of the American Antiquarian Society, was a large supporter of the Golf Collectors Society without ever swinging a golf club, and a great supporter of the San Francisco Public Library where he donated his father’s collection of illustrated books. He loved the finely printed page and the people who shared this passion.

In his youth, he was an alpine ski competitor and worked on installing some of the first chairlifts in the California High Sierra. He worked his first auction at 18 as a “runner” for a New England auction. After he spent years as an executive in the book printing and publishing industry, George returned to the auction world as the head of the Book Department at Butterfield & Butterfield Auctioneers before joining PBA Galleries shortly after its founding.

George was fond of speaking before an assembled crowd and was always very gracious and generous. A raconteur and an overall delight, on rare occasions, he could be heard entertaining listeners with his yodeling.George's Mammoth Post Card

11 Responses to George Fox – Ski Racer, Auctioneer, Raconteur, Yodeler

  1. Ted Dunn says:

    I was so stunned and saddened to learn of George’s passing. We shared a certain interest in our collecting and exchanged many messages regarding our interest. He will be greatly missed.

  2. Elyn Walker says:

    My deepest condolences to George’s family and many friends who loved him. I always looked forward to my PBA trips, knowing George would be there with his knowledge, intelligence, patience – and always a story or two. I will miss that kind, gentlemanly twinkle in his eyes. May his extraordinary Spirit soar.

  3. louise Moises says:

    I always looked forward to his happy disposition, his love of books and the book business, and his stories of canoeing. A gentleman of the old school. Warm regards to family and friends.

  4. Fred Fischbach says:

    A life well lived, a real gentleman. Thanks for the years of donating your time & charm to The Jack London Foundation auctions. Rest in peace dear friend.

  5. Jeffrey says:

    So sad to hear of George’s passing. He was a great man, and always ready to talk to someone new to collecting, as I was when I started collecting golf books 20 years ago. He will be missed. I’ll be thinking of him during the upcoming golf sale.

  6. Marty Swalinkavich says:

    Very sad news, George was a good friend from collecting ephemera and on here also .He was one of the first to welcome me to The Ephemera Society of America where he was a board member. A friend I will always be grateful to know, George was life, knowledge and humor rolled into one. My sympathy to family and friends.

  7. Nancy Rosin says:

    George Fox was a beloved member of my Board of Directors of The Ephemera Society of America when I was President. He was an icon in our world — and a great friend. We have shared so many fond memories of him — from his many very serious contributions to being our auctioneer, to making us laugh with his yodels. His presence was always special, and he will always be remembered with love.

  8. Laura Wasowicz says:

    George was a loyal member of the American Antiquarian Society; he was an ardent supporter of our McLoughlin Brothers picture book exhibition, which will open in New York at the Grolier Club in early December. I so wanted him to be there. I, too will remember him with great love and respect.

  9. Lisa Dunseth says:

    We will miss George. Thanks to George, SFPL now houses and cares for his father’s collection: The George M. Fox Collection of Early Children’s Books:

    We enjoyed working with George on a large and beautiful exhibit of Fox Collection materials here at the library in 2013. Our deepest condolences to the family and sincere gratitude to George for his great support of the public library.
    Lisa Dunseth, San Francisco Public Library

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