George W. Cornell was born on July 21, 1920, in Weatherford, Okla. He was the dean of American religion writers whose columns for The Associated Press brought theological issues to newspaper readers for more than 43 years. When he began specializing in religion coverage in 1951, his columns were the first on the subject to be carried regularly by a news wire service. He won a number of awards for excellence in religion reporting, including the Religion Newswriters Association's Templeton Reporter of the Year Award in 1987. He was also the author of six books on religion. He passed away on August 10th 1994 at his home in Manhattan, he was 74.