George Watts Hill

Son of John Sprunt Hill and grandson of George Washington Watts, George Watts Hill Sr. (1901-1993) was a leading figure in Durham through much of the 20th century. Hill was a city councilman 1929-36, an officer in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II and instrumental in creation of the Research Triangle Park.

Hill was chairman of Central Carolina Bank and of Home Security Life Insurance, a founder of the Hospital Care Association (later Blue Cross/Blue Shield), a trustee of Watts Hospital and a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

A devotee of Modernist architecture and a patron of the arts, Hill decorated his banks branches with work by Durham-area artists. The Hill Pavilion for the Arts at Durham Central Park bears his name, and the bronze bull statue at CCB Plaza downtown is nicknamed Major in his honor recognizing Hills World War II service rank, and a title he favored in post-war life.

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