George Alexander Kohut was born on February 11, 1874 in Stuhlweissenberg, Hungary. He was the fourth child and first son of the eight children of Rabbi Alexander Kohut and Julia Weissbrunn. He was brought to the United States in 1885 as a boy of eleven, when the family settled in New York. From his early childhood he was of frail constitution. His mother died in her first year in America; subsequently his father married Rebekah Bettelheim, who proved a devoted mother to the children she made her own.