Georges Fischer was born on 30 May 1935 in Schaffhausen. He was the son of Ernst Fischer, engineer and owner of a car repair shop, and Lucienne (née André). The death of his father was both a big loss and a great challenge for the family.
Georges Fischer completed the cantonal grammar school in Schaffhausen from which he graduated in 1955 and began his studies at HSG, with specialisation in Industry. He financed his studies through various part-time jobs. After graduating, Fischer took on the position of Assistant and Research Associate at the SIAM institute (later: SIASR) at HSG. In 1963 Fischer published his doctoral thesis under the German title Probleme regional Volkseinkommens- und Sozialproduktschätzungen. Dargestellt am Beispiel des Kantons St. Gallen (Problems of regional national income and social product estimates, demonstrated using the example of the canton of St. Gallen)
Five years later in 1968, Fischer took on a teaching position at HSG. After his habilitation in 1972 on Analyse regionaler Entwicklungsprozesse als Grundlage einer rationalen Raumordnungspolitik für die Schweiz (Analysis of regional development processes as the basis of a rational spatial planning policy for Switzerland), he was appointed as a Privatdozent (lecturer). At the same time, he was elected to be the director of SIAM.
In 1973 Fischer was appointed Titular Professor of Economics, especially in the field of spatial planning and regional research. In 1976 he became Associate Professor of Spatial Planning and Regional Development and in 1989 he was promoted to Full Professors of Economics with special emphasis on regional economics.
Georges Fischer served as President of the University of St.Gallen (HSG) between 1993 and 1997. During his time in office, the university experienced a strengthening of its position in Switzerland and abroad. Important milestones of his presidency included the increased internationalisation of the teaching staff and the expansion of international cooperation of the school. In 1995 the inauguration of the Holzweid centre for continuing education as well as the revision of the Higher Education Act and the eventual renaming of the school to ‘University of St.Gallen (HSG)’ were high on the agenda.
Fischer was a member of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foun-dation (SNSF) and president of the advisory committee of the Federal Council for Short-Term and Social Statistics (KOKOS).
Sailing was one of his great hobbies, as well as gardening and entertaining guests.
He was married and the father of two children. He was appointed Emeritus Professor in 2000.
Georges Fischer died on 28 October 2007 in St. Gallen.
1997: Institute for Media and Communication Management (MCM-HSG).