He was the son of the first known member of the Palaiologos family, the strategos of Mesopotamia Nikephoros Palaiologos. His wife Anna Doukaina was the sister of Eirene Doukaina, the wife of Alexios I Komnenos, making him the emperor's brother-in-law. As Alexios Komnenos' leading general and close friend, he played an important role in his campaigns, especially the Battle of Dyrrhachium against the Normans or the Battle of Levounion against the Pechenegs. He was the chief source used by Anna Komnene in her Alexiad on her father's battles, and is very favourably portrayed by her in her book as both capable and loyal.
George had a younger brother, Nicholas. Through his marriage to Anna Doukaina, he had four sons:
- Nikephoros, one of the ancestors of the branch that became the Empire's ruling dynasty after 1261
- Michael, a sebastos
- Alexios, married Anna Komnenodoukaina and the other ancestor of the imperial line
- Kazhdan (1991), p. 1557
- Angold (1984), pp. 104-5
- Birkenmeier (2002), pp. 3, 63–64, 76
- Kazhdan (1991), p. 1558
- Angold, Michael (1984). The Byzantine Empire 1025–1204: A Political History. Longman. ISBN 0-582-49061-8.
- Birkenmeier, John W. (2002). The Development of the Komnenian Army: 1081–1180. Brill. ISBN 90-04-11710-5.
- Dawes, Elizabeth A., ed. (1928), The Alexiad, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul
- Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6
- Skoulatos, Basile (1980), Les personnages byzantins de l'Alexiade: Analyse prosopographique et synthese (in French), Louvain: Nauwelaerts
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