Seedsmen Hall of Fame
Honoring Horticulturalists

George C. Ball, Jr.

Although he has not made any great contributions to horticulture as a seedsman or plant breeder as the other people on this site, Mr. Ball is included here to document the most recent history of the W. Atlee Burpee & Company.

George C. Ball, Jr. was born near Chicago in 1951.  He is the son of G. Carl Ball, who was one of four brothers that took over the Ball Horticultural Company in 1949 when their father passed away.

George began his career working for the family company in Illinois and in Costa Rica during the summers while he was in school.  In 1971, after ceasing studies at Bard College, he joined Ball Seed as an assistant grower.

Rising through the ranks of the family business, he was appointed in 1984, president of a subsidiary company, Pan American Seed.  In 1989 he became a director of Geo J. Ball, Inc., an entity spun off of Ball Horticultural Company.

W. Atlee Burpee & Company was acquired1, for an undisclosed amount in 1991. In 1993, Mr. Ball became the president of the Burpee Holding Company (the parent company of W. Atlee Burpee & Company2). This was spun off of Ball Holding Company, in 2000.

Burpee continues as a privately owned company and remains a leader in the home gardening industry.


1.  Information available is conflicting.  Some list W. Atlee Burpee & Co. as being purchased by George Ball, Jr. and some name Geo. J. Ball, Inc.

2.  George Ball, Jr. was spun off from Ball Horticultural and became a separate company.


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