George Lewis Eisman, age 66, of Watkins Glen NY, died at home of cancer on April 23, 2017. George was born on August 5, 1950 in Miami, FL, to Leo and Rose Eisman. George grew up in Miami Beach and attended Central Beach Elementary and Ida M. Fisher Junior High. He was a leader among his peers and served as Student Council President at Fisher. A brilliant student, he graduated early from Miami Beach Senior High and went directly to Middlebury College in Vermont after 11th grade in 1967. After a year at Middlebury, he returned to Florida and earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University. He received a Master's degree in Geography from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a second Master's degree in Nutrition from Florida International University in 1976.
A remarkably kind man and a natural teacher, George was a pioneering vegan nutritionist. He taught the first college level vegan nutrition course in the U.S. at Miami-Dade College in Florida, and co-founded the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to his work as a registered dietitian and public health nutritionist, George was a passionate advocate for more fair food supply systems around the world, issues he explored in his book The Most Noble Diet (1994). He was a great supporter of local, organic, and especially veganic farmers.
George was a sought-after speaker on nutrition and food issues all over the U.S. Beginning in 1982, he spoke at the NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest every year except the year when his daughter Sarah was born. In his public talks and in everyday life, George gently enlightened thousands about the health, environmental, and ethical consequences of our food choices. He wrote A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition (2001, republished in 2015 as A Guide to Vegan Nutrition), a course book on the science of healthy plant-based diets. Extremely knowledgeable about the plant world, he led walks to identify wild edible plants. He was deeply curious about the world around him and many people say that they always learned something new from every talk with George. His legacy is a strong foundation for the vegan movement and the deep gratitude of those who strive for a better world through compassion for all of its inhabitants, human and animal.
George was a very loving and generous son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and participant in the life of his extended family. He is survived and greatly missed by his son Thomas Eisman, daughter Sarah Schlueter-Eisman, their mother Shelly Schlueter, wife Claire Holzner, brother Michael (Harriet) Eisman, niece Emily (Rocci Aguirre) Eisman, nephews Lael (Jaclyn) Eisman and Jacob (Phoebe Van Vleet) Eisman, great niece Zia Eisman, aunts Vivian Miller and Rhea Eisman, as well as countless friends and admirers. The world has lost one of its kindest souls.
Contributions in George's memory may be made to Wildkind Care wildlife rehabilitation facility, P.O. Box 465, Montour Falls NY 14865.