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George Thomas Land


1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
George Thomas Land Obituary
Land, George Thomas Lock
George Thomas Lock Land, general systems scientist, whose work included research, consulting, writing and teaching, died on March 8, 2016 following a lengthy illness. Land, a long time resident of Scottsdale, AZ, was known for developing what he termed "Transformation Theory", an inherent part of the nature and function of growth. This theory was brought forward in Land's book, Grow or Die: Random House, 1973. This book was the Random House nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Science as well as the National Book Award. It was also a main selection of the national Saturday Review Book club. Land was born in Hot Springs, AR on Feb. 27, 1932, and was reared in Louisiana and Mississippi. He attended schools in New Orleans and St. Stanislaus School, Bay St. Louis, MS. While attending Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, Land began work with station WLBT in its first year of television, an experience that led Land into a career in television programming and management in both the United States and Mexico. Land's own "transformation" occurred as his interest in human growth became the intellectual focus for the remainder of his life. He founded the Innotek corporation in NY, and was a founding partner and Chairman of Turtle Bay Institute, also NY. These research and consulting companies were created to further knowledge about the enhancement of creative performance and they served individuals, businesses and many government and private groups. Those firms preceded the Arizona companies, Leadership 2000 and the Farsight Group, founded by Land and Dr. Beth Jarman. Jarman and Land also collaborated on the books, Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today published in 1993 and Nature's Hidden Force: Joining Spirituality and Science published in 2014. George Land's work has been recognized and honored by a number of organizations, including election as a Senior Fellow of the University of Minnesota, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a Colleague and Fellow of the Creative Education Foundation. In 1989 the Creative Education Foundation awarded Land its Creative Achievement Award for his lifetime work in Creativity. In 1995 the George Land World Class Innovator Award was created in his honor by the Innovative Thinking Network. Land is survived by the partner of his happiest hours, his wife Beth Jarman. Their family includes Patrick Land; Robert Land and his wife Victoria; Michelle Jarman and Paul Bergstraesser and their son William; Alex and Amy Jarman and their sons Max and Tate. Land also leaves a sister, Patricia Land Stevens and her husband Phineas; a niece Susan Land Stevens Reeder and her husband Charles; a nephew Stuart Phineas Stevens and his wife Suzanne; and two great nieces. In Grow or Die, George Land expressed appreciation for the help and benefit he received from many people including Dr. Margaret Mead, Toni Morrison his editor and Dr. Karl Menninger. The following quote from Dr. Menninger's book, A Vital Balance was a favorite of Land's and he felt that it reflected his own deepest beliefs. Dr. Menninger states, "It is the assertion of hope, of faith in every individual's potential for growth and development and self-transcendence, it is a declaration of love for and belief in one's fellow creatures". The family of George Land would like to express their deepest appreciation to Veronica Colmenero and her family for their devoted assistance to Beth and George during George's illness. There will be a private service with family and close friends.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 13, 2016
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