George Carlson was born in Illinois in 1940. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Arizona. After practicing in Chicago as a commercial artist, he made his home in Franktown, CO. In 1977 Carlson was awarded $40,000 to create a bronze sculpture of a miner in Washington Park. The award came from the will of the late Senator Samuel D. Nicholson, a previous Leadville miner and a Denver banker who died in 1923.