Ball, George, Jr.–(1951-)--was born in
the suburbs of Chicago in 1951. He was the son of Carl Ball, who
was one of four brothers that took over the Ball Seed Company in 1949 when
their father died. In 1963, George started harvesting petunia seed
for his family’s business, and he worked for the company in Illinois and
Costa Rica during the summers when he was in high school and college.
In 1971, after studying at Bard College and De Paul University, he joined
Ball Seed as an assistant grower. He rose through the ranks and was
appointed president of Pan American Seed in 1984. In 1991, George
acquired the W. Atlee Burpee & Company and became president.