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George S. Eccles '22 (1900-1982) was a leading figure in the nation's banking industry for more than half a century. As CEO of First Security Corporation, he played a key role in founding and guiding the enterprise, which held the distinction as the nation's oldest and largest multi-state bank holding company at the time of its historic merger with Wells Fargo & Company in 2000.
A son of pioneering Utah industrialist David Eccles, George grew up in the small rural community of Logan, Utah, and "headed east" to pursue his education. He graduated from Columbia Business School in 1922. It was at Columbia that he met fellow student Dolores Doré, a "Texas belle" whom he would wed in 1925. When his banking career that began in New York City eventually brought them back to Utah, George went on to lead First Security Corporation as its CEO for more than 40 years, and the couple became among the state's most active, generous and honored civic leaders and philanthropists.
About the Eccles Prize
The George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing was established at Columbia Business School in 1986 by Spencer Eccles to honor his uncle, George Eccles, and to foster greater interest in and public discourse about economic theory, practice, and issues. The prize is awarded annually to the author of the best book or writings on economics that bridge theory and practice, as determined by top members of the Columbia Business School faculty and alumni.
During its initial years (1986-98), prize winners included such notables as Henry Kaufman, Mary Ann Keller, Ron Chernow and Daniel Yergin, to name only a few. In 2010, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation - in honor and memory of its founder - re-established not only the prize and speaker forum, but also an allied annual research award in Finance and Economics for a Columbia Business School faculty member.
The selection of both prizes is made by a committee of leading Columbia Business School faculty and a member of the Eccles family.
Today, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation carries on the philanthropic goals of its founders, focusing its grant-making programs in areas including education, arts, health care, community/societal needs, and historic/environmental preservation. It is ably led by its directors including Spencer F. Eccles, Chairman & CEO; Lisa Eccles, President & COO; and Robert M. Graham, Secretary, Treasurer and General Counsel.