George William Foster is an American businessman, physicist, and U.S. Representative for Illinois's 11th congressional district, winning the seat in 2012. He was previously the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 14th congressional district from 2008 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early Life & Career
Foster was born in 1955 in Madison, Wisconsin. As a teenager, he attended James Madison Memorial High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1976 and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1983.
At age 19, Foster and his younger brother Fred started a business in their basement with $500 from their parents. The company, Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC), in 2008 had approximately 650 employees worldwide and manufactured over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States.
Installations include Broadway shows, Rolling Stones tours, opera houses, Super Bowl halftime shows, and at schools, churches, and community centers around the world.
After completing his Ph.D., Foster moved to the Fox Valley with his family to pursue a career in high-energy physics at Fermilab, a Department of Energy National Laboratory. During Foster’s 22 years at Fermilab he participated in several projects, including the design of equipment and data analysis software for the CDF Detector, which were used in the discovery of the top quark, and the management of the design and construction of a 3 km Anti-Proton Recycler Ring for the Main Injector.
He has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, was on the team receiving the 1989 Bruno Rossi Prize for cosmic ray physics for the discovery of the neutrino burst from the supernova SN 1987A, received the Particle Accelerator Technology Prize from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and was awarded an Energy Conservation award from the United States Department of Energy for his application of permanent magnets for Fermilab’s accelerators.
U.S. House of Representatives
On November 26, 2007, former House Republican Speaker J. Dennis Hastert resigned as the Representative from Illinois’ 14th congressional district. Foster announced his candidacy to fill the vacancy on May 30, 2007.
Foster and his wife, Aesook Byon, live in Naperville, Illinois. He has two adult children from his first marriage.
George William Foster is an American businessman, physicist, and U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 11th congressional district. He is the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 11th congressional district.