The Beaufort Tribune was originally founded in 1874 by Winchell French, son of Mansfield French, who led missionaries from New York, Philadelphia and Boston to Beaufort during the Civil War to help the newly freed slaves. In 2009 George Trask, who owns the house the French family purchased during the Civil War, formed a corporation to establish The Beaufort Tribune on the Internet when The Beaufort Gazette, owned by a California conglomerate, closed its editorial office in Beaufort.
The Tribune discontinued daily publication in early 2013 to give its founder time to enjoy life. In early 2014 it resumed daily publication for several months to spearhead defeat of the City of Beaufort’s misguided effort to convert a portion of the public’s downtown waterfront park into a private hotel/condominium/retail development. Since then frequency of updates has been at the whim of its founder.
George Trask is a Beaufort native who attended the public schools of Beaufort; Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia; Davidson College (BA in History and Economics); Harvard Law School; and Harvard Business School.
He served in Washington in the United States Army Intelligence Corps as a counterintelligence officer and on the staff of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. He practiced law in Atlanta as a corporate and tax lawyer in what are now two of the largest law firms in the United States: King & Spalding and Alston & Bird.
He has been involved as owner/operator of numerous businesses in the Beaufort area including First Carolina Bank, Beaufort Broadcasting Company (WBEU and WBEU-FM), Best Western Sea Island Inn, Rose Supply Company, Coastal Villages Press, and Distant Island Company.
His community services have included membership on the boards of Penn Community Center (vice chairman), Historic Beaufort Foundation and Beaufort-Jasper Water Authority. He contributed pro bono publico his legal services to form Beaufort County Open Land Trust. He represented Beaufortonian Pat Conroy in his fight to regain his position as a school teacher on Daufuskie Island, which led to Pat’s writing his first commercially successful novel, The Water Is Wide.
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