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Born in Budapest, Hungary, he immigrated to America in late 1939. Gerbner earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 1942. He worked briefly for the San Francisco Chronicle as a writer, columnist and assistant financial editor. He joined the United States Army in 1943. He joined the Office of Strategic Services while serving and received the Bronze Star. Gerbner was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant. After the war he worked as a freelance writer and publicist and taught journalism at El Camino College while earning a master's (1951) and doctorate (1955) in communications at the University of Southern California. His dissertation, "Toward a General Theory of Communication," won USC's award for "best dissertation."
He had been Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (1964-1989) and the Bell Atlantic Professor of Telecommunication at Temple University since 1997. He was diagnosed with cancer in late November, 2005. He died on December 24 2005 at his apartment in center city Philadelphia.
- George Gerbner's webpage, with Biography and other links
- The Cultivation Theory: George Gerbner
- Announcement of Bell Atlantic Professorship in Temple Times.
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