Dr. George Fischbeck, New Mexico and Southern California Icon First Inductee
He was the face of science for hundreds of thousands of New Mexico’s children for 25 years; with an influence so widespread , it’s estimated that by the early 1970’s, 25% of New Mexico’s residents learned science from him either through the classroom or television.
That’s why Albuquerque’s new Wall of Fame at the Alvarado Transportation Center made New Mexico and Southern California icon Dr. George Fischbeck its first ever inductee on Monday, July 8, 2013.
“Dr. George positively influenced the lives of thousands of New Mexican students through his classes, science show on Public TV and as a KOB-4 weatherman,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “And though he achieved great fame as a TV weatherman in Southern California, he never forgot his New Mexico roots.”
Dr. George came to New Mexico in 1946 to study Anthropology at UNM. He was also a meteorologist with the N.M. Air National Guard at Kirtland AFB. He became a much acclaimed teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools during the 1950’s. His unique teaching style leading to a weekly science show on KNME-5 in 1959, which by 1972 had been shown in 25 cities around the country.
In 1970, he added “weatherman” to his resume when he became KOB-4’s weekday forecaster. In time, his innovative, classroom-style weathercasts led KOB-4 to the top of the ratings. Dr. George was also the official meteorologist for the very first Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. In 1972, KABC-TV, ABC-TV’s West Coast flagship station hired him as its principal weatherman. In little time, he became the most popular news personality in Southern California and helped KABC-TV become the ratings leader there.
Dr. George unveiled his plaque in the Wall of Fame at the Alvarado Transportation Center on July 8, then signed copies of his autobiography through the noontime hour.
On Tuesday, July 9, Dr. George also signed copies of his autobiography at Isotopes Park, where he threw out the first pitch of the Albuquerque Isotopes vs. Nashville Sounds game.
“Our Wall of Fame is designed to honor those who’ve contributed in a positive way to the social fabric of our community,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “Who better to honor than a man who dedicated his life to learning, science and weather and from afar, always kept his love for New Mexico.”
From left: Mayor Richard J. Berry, Dr. George and ABQ RIDE Director Bruce Rizzieri unveil new plaque
Dr. George Fischbeck signs books for fans at Isotopes Park