September 23, 1925 – December 5, 2019
George J. Laurer, 94, beloved father and inventor of the UPC bar code, died December 5, 2019 at his home in Wendell, NC. Born in New York City, NY, he was son to the late George and Irma Rudiger Laurer. After surviving polio in his teens, he served in the Army during WWII. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1951 and became a groundbreaking electrical engineer, working at IBM for over three decades. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Marilyn Slocum Laurer, and his sister, Alma Laurer Albert, daughter-in-law, Sheree Laurer
Laurer is widely recognized as the inventor of the Universal Product Code that appears on virtually every product sold worldwide. He was inducted into the University of Maryland Engineering Innovation Hall of Fame in 1991. A few years later, the 25th anniversary of his invention was celebrated at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Laurer was also inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame in the year 2000, and he received the prestigious School of Engineering’s 125th Anniversary Medal on November 21, 2019. During his career at IBM, he also produced over a dozen patents for scanning and computer memory devices, including one of the first handheld wand scanners for reading barcodes in 1976.
George Laurer’s work has touched and improved the daily lives of nearly everyone in the world. As a father, his caring and selfless focus on his family shall be deeply missed. He is survived by his daughter, Debra Laurer Cook of Clayton, NC; son, Craig G Laurer of Danbury, CT, son, Mark K Laurer of Lexington, KY, son, Jonathan H Laurer (Tanya) of Raleigh, NC; grandchildren, Nigel F Laurer, Jasper H Laurer, India, Europa, Dubravka Zoe Laurer; great grandchildren, Xaelia, Victoria and Zachary Laurer.
Please consider making a memorial donation to The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
Funeral 11 am, Monday, Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory Chapel, 211 W. Third St., Wendell with visitation from 10-11 am, prior to the service. Burial will follow in Montlawn Memorial Park. Full obituary at www.stricklandfuneral.com