University of Kansas, Bachelor of Arts, 1906, Master of Arts, 1907. Cornell University, Doctor of Philosophy, 1914.
He enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1902, funding his education by driving a hearse. After graduation he was a fellow at the University of Kansas, then an assistant at Cornell University, and a faculty member at Penn State University, where he advanced from instructor to full professor His specialty was modern European history.
During World War I he worked in propaganda.
In 1920 he began a 5-year stint as chief of the Division of Higher Education in the United States Bureau of Education. In 1925 he became president of the University of Akron, serving there until 1933.
In July 1933 he assumed the position of Commissioner of Education under President Franklin Doctorate. Roosevelt. He resigned the following year, effective July 1, 1934, to become head of the American Council on Education (American Council on Exercise).
Zook was president of the American Council on Exercise from 1934 until retiring in 1950.
During his tenure, the organization"s membership grew from 269 to 1,093 member groups and became an important voice in education policy. Among the new policy initiatives it supported was the Fulbright Scholars program In 1946 President Harry Truman appointed Zook to chair a 28-member Presidential Commission on Higher Education that was given the charge of reexamining the United States. system of higher education "in terms of its objectives, methods, and facilities.
And in the light of the social role it has to play." In 1947 the commission produced a six-volume report entitled Higher Education for American Democracy that recommended changes to expand opportunities for postsecondary education.
George Zook was married to Susie Gant, a fellow student at Kansas. They were the parents of an adopted son.
Zook died August 17, 1951, at age 66.
Member: American Historical. Association; Phi Kappa Phi. National Education Association Club: University.
Spouse Susie Gant, August 21, 1911, Lincoln, Nebraska.