Weller, George (Anthony) 1907-2002
WELLER, George (Anthony) 1907-2002
See index for CA sketch: Born July 13, 1907, in Boston, MA; died December 19, 2002, in San Felice Circeo, Italy. Journalist and author. Weller was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist famous for his war reporting. He completed his bachelor's degree at Harvard University in 1929 and did additional graduate study at the University of Vienna and the Max Reinhardt School of Theater in 1930 and 1931. His first journalism job was with the New York Times for which he was a correspondent in Greece and the Balkans in the early 1930s. From 1937 to 1940 he was director of the Homeland Foundation in New York City before returning to journalism as part of the Chicago Daily News staff. During World War II he became famous for reporting on the first undersea surgery, which happened on the submarine Seadragon when, on September 11, 1942, a crew member suffering from appendicitis was operated on by untrained comrades guided only by a medical manual; the surgery was a success, and Weller won the 1943 Pulitzer for his story on the event. Weller also was present at several other important stories of World War II, including the 1941 fall of Saigon and the nuclear aftermath at Nagasaki. After the war, he returned to the United States briefly on a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University before heading back to Europe. His series of stories about Turkey earned him a George Polk Memorial Award in 1955; Weller mostly reported from Rome—he was president of the Foreign Press Association in Italy in 1954—during his last years with the Chicago Daily News, from which he retired in 1972. He was the author of several historical books, including Singapore Is Silent (1943) and Story of Submarines (1962), and of the novels Not to Eat, Not for Love (1933), Clutch and Differential (1936), and The Crack in the Column (1949). His last published work was Walking Time (1965).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Roth, Mitchel P., Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1997.
Chicago Tribune, December 21, 2002, section 2, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2002, p. B11.
New York Times, December 29, 2002, p. A26.
Washington Post, December 22, 2002, p. C11.