George Fox, CE’40


George A. Fox, Civil Engineering ’40, was born in 1920 in Pittsburgh. He passed away in 2001 in New York City.  He served as chairman of the Grow Tunneling Corporation of Manhattan, and led the construction effort on New York City’s Water tunnels.   While at Grow Tunneling corporation, he designed and managed major construction projects, including roads, bridges and tunnels.  He  joined the Grow Construction Company, which later became the Grow Tunneling Corporation in 1946 following his service in the Navy Civil Engineering Corps in the South Pacific during World War II.

George was a nationally recognized expert in soft-ground, compressed air shafts and tunnels. He lectured in the US and abroad and wrote numerous articles for important construction publications. After managing several public-works projects in the city, upstate New York and New Jersey in the 1950’s and 1960’s and taking a leading role for his company in its early work on New York’s massive Third Water Tunnel in the 1970’s, Fox became chief executive of Grow in the early 1980’s.

During the 1980’s George served as president of the New York Building Congress and the General Contractors Association of New York City. He also served as chairman of the board of radio stations WBAI and WNYC.

In 1974, George Fox became the first Alumni Trustee on the Cooper Union Board of Trustees.  (The Alumni Trustee position was formed by the CUAA/Cooper Union Memorandum of Agreement dated Feb. 1, 1974).

George served as Chairman of the Cooper Union Board of Trustees from 1987-1995. Fox was awarded several prizes for engineering, including the Roebling Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1988.  On November 13th, 1996, he received the first “Builder of the City” award from The Cooper Union for contributions to the city’s infrastructure.

In 1998, he created a course at the Cooper Union which he taught until 2000.

George Fox received the 1979 President’s Citation and the Gano Dunn Award in 1973. He died in 2001.  He was inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.


New York Times obituary May 21, 2001: Link to Obituary

New York Times,”Excavating A Monument To Foresight,”  November 13 1996: Link to Times Nov 1996 Article

New York Times, “Decades After Its Conception, 3d Water Tunnel Set to Open,” August 6, 1998: Link to Times article about the Third Water Tunnel

Minutes of Cooper Union Board of Trustees Meeting, April 3 1974.

Minutes of Cooper Union Board of Trustees Meeting, November 13 1974.

At Cooper April 1973, page 27