Former physician gets new title: Fossil Master for 2019

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Annual festival honors George Oliver & zest for relics!

George Oliver has been a tireless volunteer at the Aurora Fossil Museum for 10 years. Like a kid in a candy store, he is always ready for some fossil-digging!

George Oliver

AURORA George Oliver, Jr. grew up in Cary, North Carolina, back when it was still a small town. His mom was a first grade teacher, and his dad taught chemistry at NC State and built houses. He helped his dad build the house he grew up in. He was first introduced to fossils by his dad, who got interested in them while working in Illinois, where Dr. Oliver was born.

Dr. Oliver graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and received a Morehead Scholarship, which is a full merit-based scholarship, to medical school there. He served in the United States Navy and then moved with his family to Morehead City in the mid-1970s.

At the time, he was the only OB-GYN in Carteret County. During his almost 40-year career as a physician, he delivered thousands of babies and helped countless women. As he ran his solo practice—meaning he was on call day and night—and helped raise his seven children, he kept a display of fossils in his office—many of which had been found by his dad—and was eager to talk about them to anyone who asked.


When his kids got older, he started visiting the mine in Aurora to hunt for more fossils to add to his collection.

After Dr. Oliver retired in 2009, he started working at the Aurora Fossil Museum and began his second career. He has eight kids now, and they all love visiting him at the museum along with his nine grandchildren. He delights in helping visitors find their own treasures and educating them with his vast knowledge and experience. In his spare time, he can usually be found making sifting trays in his garage or counting shark’s teeth at his kitchen table.

In some ways his role at the museum has allowed him to come full circle—an educator at heart like his parents, with a fascination for what came long before us.

This narrative submitted by Dr. Oliver’s son, George M. Oliver, and his daughter, Elizabeth Oliver.

Open to everyone! Bidding begins 3pm on Saturday, May 25
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