Francis Eugene George, OMI (born January 16, 1937) is an American Cardinal. He is the eighth and current Archbishop of Chicago, having previously served as Bishop of Yakima (1990–1996) and the Archbishop of Portland (1996–1997). He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II in 1998. Cardinal George is a past President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007 to 2010, and is in charge of one the largest U.S. dioceses in terms of Catholic population. A member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he had once served as provincial, or head, of the American province of his order; before that, he taught at some noted American seminaries. He was elected the moderator for North America at the 2008 World General Synod of Bishops Meeting.
In addition to his native English, George also speaks French, Italian, Latin, Spanish and German.
Born in Chicago to Francis J. and Julia R. McCarthy George, he attended St. Pascal Grade School on the city's northwest side. Cardinal George then enrolled at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. However, due to difficulty climbing stairs because of childhood polio, he attended Quigley for only a day. He then transferred to St. Henry Preparatory Seminary in Belleville, Illinois before joining the religious order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on August 14, 1957. He was sent to the University of Ottawa in Canada to study theology before being ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1963. Ordination took place at his home parish of St. Pascal Church by Bishop Raymond Hillinger.