George R. Herrmann, professor of medicine and cardiologist, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on November 20, 1894, the son of George and Sophia Marie (Bechtold) Herrmann. At the University of Michigan he received bachelor's (1916), master's (1918), and medical degrees (1918) and a Ph.D. in pathology (1922). He completed postgraduate hospital training at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston (1918–19) and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis (1920–21). He was a member of the teaching faculty of the University of Michigan School of Medicine from 1921 to 1925. While serving as attending physician at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, and a member of the faculty at Tulane University School of Medicine, Herrmann established one of the earliest electrocardiographic laboratories in the South (1925).
He became professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1931. He established a cardiovascular research laboratory that he directed for forty-four years and wrote 400 scientific publications based on clinical and experimental studies performed there. Three of his textbooks were issued in multiple editions: Clinical Case Taking (third edition, 1945), A Synopsis of Diseases of the Heart and Arteries (1936), and Methods in Medicine (1924). Herrmann was a skillful lecturer and rigorous teacher; his students nicknamed him 'Pudge,' because of his short height and rotund appearance. In 1964 the University of Texas Board of Regents designated Herrmann UTMB's first Ashbel Smith Professor. Herrmann was a member and officer of numerous professional societies. He served as president of the Texas Heart Association, the Texas Academy of Internal Medicine, and the Galveston County Medical Society. In 1964 the Texas Medical Association honored him with its first Distinguished Service Award, and the American College of Cardiology presented him with its first Honorary Jeweled Key Award. Herrmann served on the editorial boards of several journals and as a consultant to the National Research Council, the Surgeon General's Office, and the National Institutes of Health. During the early 1930s he began consulting with physicians in Mexico City, assisting them in the development of cardiovascular research and teaching programs. He founded the Inter-American Cardiological Society in 1944 and served as a director from 1946 to 1956. As lecturer and consultant he made frequent trips to Central and South America. In 1962 he was presiding officer of the scientific sessions of the Fourth International Congress of Cardiology, held in Mexico City. He became an honorary member of several Latin-American societies and received honorary degrees from several Latin-American universities.
Herrmann was married to Anna Harriet Williams Herrmann, and they had three children. All three earned medical degrees from UTMB. Herrmann died on December 9, 1975, in Del Rio, Texas.