The grandson of a former slave, George started working full time when he was just 8 years old and never even learned the alphabet. By the time his classmates threw him a surprise 100th birthday party, George was able to read his own cards for the first time.
"Watching Mr. Dawson learn to read has been one of the greatest experiences of my life," Carl said in 1998. "Mr. Dawson was determined he was going to learn how to read, and that determination filled one of the most outstanding quests for knowledge that I've ever seen. It has been a fantastic miracle."
In 2000, George became a best-selling author when he co-wrote his inspiring life story Life Is So Good. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 103.
See how his legacy lives on today!