May 31, 2004 by

George Christiansen

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Categories: Business, Military

George Thomas Christiansen, who spent 35 years designing cars for General Motors, died on May 17 of cancer. He was 84.
Christiansen was still a boy when his family moved from Norwood, Mass., to Detroit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of Michigan before getting drafted into the Army Reserve. During World War II, Christiansen was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the ordnance branch, and served three years in the China-Burma-India theater.
Christiansen returned to the states and joined the design department at General Motors in 1946. Over the next three decades, he influenced the design of numerous cars to come down the assembly line. From 1963 to 1964, Christiansen contributed to GM’s Futurama Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. The $2.5 million exhibit was visited by 10.5 million Americans.
After retiring in 1981, Christiansen moved to Naples, Fla., where he was the president of the General Motors Retired Executives Club.

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