George Charles Ballas
June 28, 1925
Ruston, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||June 25, 2011 (aged 85)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Known for||Inventor of Weed Eater|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Marulanda (m. 1951)|
|Children||5, including Corky Ballas|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942–1953|
|Commands held||Bombardier and Second Lt. and OSI Agent|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
George Charles Ballas Sr. (June 28, 1925 – June 25, 2011) was an American entrepreneur. He invented the first string trimmer, known as the Weed Eater in 1971. He is the father of ballroom dancer, Corky Ballas, and grandfather of professional dancer Mark Ballas of Dancing with the Stars.
He had five children, Corky Ballas, George Ballas Jr., Michelle Ballas Pritchard, Maria Ballas Jamail, and Lillian Ballas Miles.
Ballas got the idea for the trimmer while driving through an automatic car wash, where the rotating brushes gave him an idea. Using a tin can laced with fishing line and an edge trimmer, he tried out his idea, which worked. After some refinements, he shopped it around to several tool makers, who all rejected his invention. He went on to develop the garden tool himself. The first year, sales were over a half million dollars. By 1977 they were $80 million, and Ballas sold his company the following year to Emerson Electric Company.
- Dennis Hevesi (July 1, 2011). "George Ballas, Inventor of the Weed Whacker, Dies at 85". The New York Times.
- Valerie J. Nelson (July 1, 2011). "George Ballas dies; Weed Eater Inventor Was 85". The Washington Post.
- George Ballas -- an Honorary Unsubscribe from the This is True Honorary Unsubscribe website