George Buckner died December 7, 2002, at age fifty-nine. Both he and his brother Ellis (George was the eldest of twelve) grew up in Gifford, Florida. George left school in the sixth grade to work after his father died. He was tall and handsome and an accomplished musician who could play the guitar, piano, and saxophone. Buckner met Harold Newton when he and Ellis were working in the orange groves and the two began painting. George was the more deliberate of the artists and did not like to go out on the road to sell. He is considered one of the best artists of the group.
For much of his life, he mowed lawns for a living. “He had his own lawn service,” said Reuben Buckner, George’s son. “A lot of them never knew he was an artist. And when they found out, which was not so long ago, they would ask why he would come out here mowing lawns when he’s got this talent. He said he liked being outside.”