Born in Franklin, North Carolina, George Patton studied landscape architecture at North Carolina State University. He took a sabbatical to join the Marine Corps during World War II, returning to complete his degree in 1949. Then, as a recipient of both a Rome Prize and a Fulbright Scholarship, Patton spent the following two years at the American Academy in Rome.
He returned to the United States in 1951 and joined the firm of Simonds and Simonds in Pittsburgh. In 1954, he opened his own firm, George Patton, Inc., in Philadelphia. Patton treated each design individually and the diversity of his projects, including private residences, universities, parks, playgrounds and preservation projects, shows his flexibility as an artist and designer. His commissions included the Locust Walk at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Kimbell Museum of Art, in Fort Worth, Texas with architect Louis Kahn, and Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with architect Robert Venturi.
Patton’s activities branched far beyond the practice of landscape architecture. He published articles on architecture and planning and was a supporter of the arts, becoming a member of the Philadelphia Art Commission in 1960. He was a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and its first vice president in 1965. In 1966, he began teaching architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and was one of the six founders of the Landscape Architecture Foundation that same year.