George Washington Gibbs Jr. was born on 7 November 1916 in Jacksonville, Florida. His family moved to New York City, where he attended Brooklyn Technical School and later earned his GED before joining the Navy.
Gibbs became the first Black person to reach the South Pole as part of the United States Antarctic Service Expedition (1939–1941), also known as Byrd’s Third Antarctic Expedition. Gibbs was one of just forty people chosen to accompany Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd in this history-making expedition aboard the USS Bear.
- Rejcek, Peter. 2010. “Making history: Gibbs first person of African descent to set foot on Antarctica continent.” In The Antarctic Sun.
- Geens, Stefan. 2009. “Double Honors for African American Antarctic Explorer George W. Gibbs Jr.” International Polar Year, 2007-2008.
- O’Connor, Colleen. 2012. “Daughter of first Black man in Antarctica writing book on his adventure.” The Denver Post.