Edmund Fox was born August 14, 1905, in Washington County, Tennessee, the youngest of seven children of Milton English Fox and Sarah Elizabeth Humphreys Fox. He later chose the name “George,” and thereafter signed his name, “Geo. E. Fox.”
He grew up on the Fox farm near Jonesborough, Tennessee, and graduated from Jonesborough High School. He received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University (1928-1933), where he was an avid and outstanding debater. He later completed an M.A. degree from George Washington University, where his thesis was titled “The Choctaw Academy: An Experiment in Indian Education.” Further graduate studies were at Colorado State College of Education and the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Fox taught in the Washington County, Tennessee, school system from 1929 to 1936, and then left Tennessee to serve in the U.S. Indian Service, Department of the Interior, from 1937 to 1944. He served first at Thunder Butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota, as a counselor and teacher of English and Social Sciences; later in Washington, D.C., as administrative assistant to the U.S. commissioner of Indian Affairs; and finally at the Sacramento Indian Agency, Sacramento, California, as field agent.
He left the Indian Service in 1944 and taught briefly in the Sacramento City Schools before coming home to Washington County, Tennessee, where he taught sociology, and later political science, at East Tennessee State University, from 1949 until his death in 1968.
Mr. Fox married Irene Thomas in 1941. From the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, she worked for the U.S. Indian Service in Pierre, South Dakota, and later in Washington, D.C., and was assistant to the president of East Tennessee State University from 1950 to 1970. They had two children, George Thomas and Susan Irene, and were divorced in 1956.
George E. Fox was an active member of the Democratic Party and belonged to the American Federation of Teachers, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Tennessee Education Association, the American Association of University Professors, Pi Kappa Delta (debating society), Phi Delta Kappa, and the Jonesborough Methodist Church.