Banana George, known for his zesty yellow outfits, was a legendary water ski icon and longtime Polk County icon. His barefoot performances took him around the world in theme park shows well into his 80s.
A new book chronicles the remarkable story of his remarkable life, from 1920s through the Great Depression and into the twenty-first century. He served as an inspiration to athletes, active seniors and entrepreneurs alike.
Early Life and Education
Banana George was a vibrant, flamboyant entrepreneur who always looked the part. He donned a yellow suit from head to toe and was renowned for his showmanship, passion for healthy living and high levels of energy.
He founded the George Foundation, a nonprofit organization that strives to improve lives in India. They offer free medical and education services, build community centers, and operate a banana farm for local economic benefit.
Before becoming a water skier, George worked as a stevedore in Mobile, Alabama and later Honduras where he was employed by the United Fruit Company. Later he rose to become director of United Fruit and owner of Cuyamel banana company in Honduras; these connections gave him access to exotic lands where he could learn about tropical environments firsthand.
Banana George was an accomplished entrepreneur who launched Fogging Unlimited, a business that took newborn infant portraits at hospitals nationwide. Later, he launched Hospital Portrait Service, a photography service that specialized in taking photos of newborn babies and their families at hospitals around the globe.
He founded two water skiing schools and performed in exhibitions around the United States. Additionally, he was inducted into the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Hall of Fame.
He was a self-made man, an inspirational daredevil and role model to athletes, active seniors and entrepreneurs alike. His zest for life and indomitable energy kept him going even after being diagnosed with a physical defect.
Achievements and Honors
Banana George was a legendary water skiing icon, captivating audiences worldwide with his ability to ski barefoot. He earned induction into the USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Hall of Fame and held several entries in Guinness Book of World Records.
He operated two ski schools, performed at Cypress Gardens, and won numerous barefoot national titles. Furthermore, he set a Guinness World Record by being the only person to ski on all continents – including Antarctica!
He serves as an inspiration to athletes, active seniors and entrepreneurs alike. His story spans the 1920s through the Depression and concludes in the twenty-first century.
George Blair, better known by his nickname Banana George, is one of the greatest entrepreneurs to ever live. After leaving corporate America in 1950s, he founded Fogging Unlimited and Hospital Portrait Service; both businesses that take pictures of newborn babies at hospitals worldwide.
He discovered water skiing, founded two schools and gave exhibitions at ski shows for over four decades. His favorite color was yellow, and he often donned a banana costume during his performances.
He defied physical limitations as a water skier and eventually developed into an expert snowboarder. But it was his zest for life which drove him to try things most people would have given up on.
Banana George lived an exciting life despite his physical deformity. Dressed in vibrant yellow from head to toe, this New Jersey businessman achieved great success as an entrepreneur.
He began his career in the 1950s, selling rustproof diaper pins and Jeep-mounted insecticide fog machines to hospitals while running his own water ski school. Additionally, he was known for his daredevil ways – taking part in barefoot water skiing shows for years.
He was a Winter Haven icon, known for his barefoot waterskiing and signature yellow “banana” wetsuits. He earned several entries into the Guinness Book of World Records and continued to barefoot water ski into his golden years.