From the time George Buss was in elementary school in the 1960s, he already had a keen interest in Abraham Lincoln. He was familiar with the big stone house in Lena, known as The Inn, where Lincoln stayed when he visited there. He remembers reading about the great Freeport debate. And he treasures the memory of sitting on Lincoln’s shoe while dining at the “Lincoln the Debater” statue just outside Taylor Park school in Freeport.
Tall, thin, and bearded, George was frequently told of his resemblance to Honest Abe as he reached adulthood and entered the teaching profession. In 1986, he made his first Lincoln appearance, representing the Land of Lincoln at a National Educational Association Convention in New Orleans. Sporting the famous stovepipe hat, he led the Illinois delegation onto the convention floor.
From there, he collaborated with Richard Sokup, who portrayed Steven A. Douglas, and by 1993 the pair entered the national scene as Lincoln and Douglas interpreters. They worked together until 2004, when Sokup passed away. George worked alone for a few years, and then formed a relationship with Tim Connors to perform, “A discussion with President Lincoln and Judge Douglas.”
They now appear together regularly throughout the nation.
Today, George Buss has turned his historical knowledge, educational background, theatrical experience, and love of all-things Lincoln into a full-time passion. He enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life – prominent Lincoln scholars, international celebrities, and regular people “like you and me.” At every venue he visits, George brings Lincoln to life with authenticity, reverence, and humor.
Are you interested in sharing Lincoln’s legacy at your event or in your classroom? Talk to George for ideas and dates!
“George Buss brings Lincoln to life not only through his looks, mannerisms and behaviors, but also through his extensive depth of knowledge about Lincoln the man and the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. He draws on his successful career in education to identify with and actively engage with youth, making history come alive and relevant for them. They feel like they are with Mr. Lincoln!”
– Sarah Seiler Watson, executive director, Looking for Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area