George Capson – A Larger-Than-Life Figure With a Bluff Charm
George Capson had a varied life; he served in the militia, was an expert surveyor, farmer and politician, as well as engaging in Indian wars and befriending many Native Americans.
In January 2021, Capson allegedly threatened to kill a woman if she did not comply with his demands. He then coerced her into crafting an email telling her attorney to dismiss both their divorce case and restraining order against him.
Early Life and Education
Capon made it through college despite his family’s financial struggles, earning his bachelor’s degree with dual majors in biology and chemistry from La Sierra College in Riverside.
He then went on to earn both a master’s and doctorate in botany from the University of Chicago, while teaching botany as a professor at Cal State Los Angeles until his retirement.
His hobbies included gardening, travel, painting, opera (he was an avid Wagner fan), ballet and ethnic cooking. Additionally, he enjoyed camping and hiking with his partner Don Terwilliger.
In his free time, he wrote several books, including two on gardening titled “Botany for Gardeners” and “Plant Survival: Adapting to Hostile Environments.” As a member of the Society of American Botanists, these papers are held by the Library.
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Achievements and Honors
Capon was an iconic figure who led from the front, shaping and maintaining AGNSW’s reputation as a museum that no Australian gallery director can rival. He abolished entry fees, created an exciting exhibition program and increased acquisitions in Asian and indigenous art areas.
George maintained his academic ambitions throughout his career. He traveled widely and lectured in China, Australia and Europe.
He received numerous honors and awards, including the Order of St. Michael and the Holy Apostles in 2009. Additionally, he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force; completing two tours of duty in Afghanistan where he played an instrumental role in developing logistics infrastructure for NATO construction projects.
George Capon was an iconic figure with a magnetic personality. He led from the front and earned the respect and admiration of those around him – including staff, media outlets and even members of the public.
He was an expert at raising funds from private donors and government ministers, yet his arrogance never detracted from his compassion for the artists and scholars at AGNSW.
On March 13th 2009, he passed away. His obituaries were featured in multiple UK newspapers, inspiring many Old Suttonians to reach out and pay their respects.
George Capon was one of Chicago’s greatest criminals, making a fortune from illegal gambling, prostitution and bootlegging operations during Prohibition.
He achieved this through charm and bluff. Additionally, he built an army of trusted hitmen and other associates that could assist him with his criminal activities.
His gangs controlled vast territories in the city, running brothels and gambling halls alike. Additionally, they had a reputation for brutally murdering any rivals that crossed their path.