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George Schmidt was an inspiring educator who believed education can be a powerful weapon in the fight against injustice. This commitment manifested itself both during his teaching career and as editor-in-chief of Substance, the teacher-produced newspaper he co-founded.
In 1736, Schmidt established his first mission station for Khoi Khoi people in Baviaans Kloof (now Genadendal). However, the Dutch Reformed Church was not pleased with him.
Early Life and Education
George Schmidt was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on September 28, 1946 to Neil and Mary Schmidt.
He graduated from Henry C. Conrad High School in 1970 and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts from Wesley College the following year.
After college, he pursued a career in education. He served as an English teacher at Bowen High School within Chicago Public Schools.
He was also a staff writer for Substance magazine, an educational monthly publication. His investigations, particularly into the Chicago Public Schools system, earned him widespread recognition.
At 14 years old, George Schmidt persuaded his father to let him become an apprentice engraver. With natural talent and ambition, he set out to succeed in this chosen profession.
Meanwhile, he began sketching caricatures for tips. Additionally, he attended classes in watercolor at Sam Barthe School for Boys in City Park.
George Schmidt’s artistic style, which he labels Academic Realism, focuses on New Orleans and its distinct culture. Through oil and watercolor paintings, drawings, prints, monotypes and more he celebrates the sensuousness of this uniquely American city in all of its sensuousness and steaminess.
Achievements and Honors
George Schmidt has earned a long list of accomplishments and honors throughout his life. He served as director of space propulsion research and development at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
His research and work have helped prepare humans for journeys beyond Earth’s atmosphere. He has directed over $200 million towards space flight technology projects, from launch vehicles to in-space flight operations.
He is also a founding member of the American Society for Science and Technology, an organization dedicated to improving educational opportunities in science.
He has earned many distinctions, such as a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an AIAA Fellowship. Furthermore, he served on numerous government study teams. Throughout his career, he contributed to developing Kalman filtering algorithms used in nearly all inertial navigation systems today.
George Schmidt was a dedicated family man who enjoyed spending time with his loved ones. Additionally, he enjoyed traveling and discovering new places.
In 1736, two clergymen in the Netherlands sent him a letter inviting him to preach the Gospel to the Hottentots (Khoi Khoi) at Cape Town. So in December 1736 he embarked on his voyage, arriving at Table Bay two months later in July 1737.
He engaged the Khoi people by teaching them how to read and write, as well as preaching Jesus Christ. In Baviaans Kloof, South Africa’s first Protestant mission station, he established this first Protestant mission station.
After seven years at the mission, Schmidt chose to return home. Rumours began swirling at Cape Town that he had been immoral in his relationship with women from the Khoe tribe.
George Schmidt is an American painter whose artworks celebrate New Orleans. His pieces range from oil and watercolor paintings, drawings, prints, to monotypes – all in what he refers to as Academic Realism.
His estimated net worth is $50 million. He made his fortune working as a communications and public affairs strategist for the Republican party, participating in numerous presidential, governor, and senator campaigns.
He has also been a vocal opponent of former President Donald Trump and his policies, such as the separation of immigrant families. In 2018, he left the Republican Party and joined the Democratic Party.