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OFW Law Mourns the Loss of George Braley (1948-2021)

On Sunday, March 28, 2021, George Braley, passed away from congestive heart failure.   Braley spent his career working to feed the hungry. Braley worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Deputy Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service and later became the Senior Vice President at Feeding America for Government Relations and Public Policy.

OFW Law Chairman Marshall Matz gives a special tribute to Braley, an inspirational and distinguished food advocate:

George Braley will be missed by all of us, and millions of hungry people who did not know his name. 

George spent some 30 years at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and was the senior career civil servant for approximately half of that time.  He then went on to Feeding America, and that is exactly what he did…. he Fed America.

George and I bonded early in our careers at…. yes…the Playboy club in Buffalo, NY.  We were on a panel together in Buffalo, NY, the snow started coming down, hard, our flight was canceled, and we were stuck at a motel for the night. 

When it came time for dinner we went outside and looked around at the options.  There were no cabs to be seen.  There were a few restaurants within sight, including a Playboy Club!  Well, what were we to do?   We looked at each other and, with a guilty smile, said “let’s go, it’s the best choice.”  So that is where we ate and then lingered longer than necessary.  What the heck, it was a blizzard.

We chuckled at that incident for decades.  And the women at the Club, without knowing, may have helped to bond a life-long friendship.

George got along with everyone.  He had no enemies.  He even accomplished something most unusual; he was respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. 

He never raised his voice, at least not that I ever heard him do so. 

George always followed the rules to the letter but also went out of his way to help his friends. We had a call every year scheduled for the exact minute the President’s budget was public so I could get the details.  This was of course before the internet and social media so instant information was critical.

George was just special in so many ways.  He deserves this rest, in everlasting peace, with the knowledge that whatever fate awaits all of us, George will be there getting along with everybody, and already feeding everyone.

According to Braley’s obituary, there will be a memorial service held on April 10, 2021, which will be live-streamed. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Feeding America in memory of George Braley.


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