George L. Heard, better known as the "Buffalo," was born in Laurel, Mississippi. At a very young age, his parents Granget Heard (deceased) and Wilma Heard moved the family to Phoenix, Arizona. While attending South Mountain High School in Phoenix, he lettered in football and track receiving numerous awards in both sports. George, with his size and speed, was awarded a full football scholarship to UNM.
In 1960, in the Skyline Conference, George was ranked 4th in passing and receiving. Because of his strength, size, and speed, George's teammates started calling him "Buffalo." George was a member of the 1961 team that was inducted into the UNM Athletic Hall of Honor; also during this year, George placed 2nd in the Skyline Conference Championships in the 100-yard dash.
In 1962, "Buff" was selected to play in the All-American Bowl, selected as the all-WAC tight end, and an All-American candidate. George Heard finished his career at UNM in 1963, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts.
On June 24, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Ernestine Hutchinson, and from that union came two daughters, Lezlie Uko, who holds a juris doctorate from Southwestern Law School, and Celeste Heard who earned her MBA from the University of Maryland in 2005. George also has two grandsons, Johnson Uko II and George Uko.
After graduation from UNM, George played professional football as a tight-end for the Saskatchewan, Canada Rough Riders. Shortly thereafter he was employed as a field agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), later known as the Drug Enforcement Administration.
By 1968 George was assigned to the Los Angeles regional office as a group supervisor where he had responsibility for overseeing the enforcement activities of 10-12 special agents.
In 1971 George settled his family in Diamond Bar, California. In 1979 he was promoted to Resident Agent-in-Charge of DEA's Las Vegas, Nevada office. 1982 saw George transferred to Miami's Field Division. Once there, he was appointed Director of the Florida Joint Task Group. As Director, George Heard provided leadership and directed the activities of a combined staff of approximately 200 DEA, US Custom managers, and drug investigators.
Many promotions and relocations ensued, culminating in his appointment as Special Agent-in-Charge covering the northern, eastern, and western districts of Texas, as well as all of Oklahoma. It was during this tenure that George witnessed first-hand the destruction in lives and property that resulted from the bombing of the Morrow Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. His professional duties--yet more importantly, his very humanity--required that George counsel and comfort fellow agents, as well as their families.
In 1996 George retired from federal service and spent his remaining years traveling with his beloved wife and daughters, golfing, riding his Kawasaki Vulcan Motorcycle, spending time with his parents, his brother, five sisters, and coaching various youth basketball and football teams for his grandsons. George was passionate about sharing sports with his grandsons; he took great pride in watching them develop athletically.
Despite his commanding presence and pensive nature, he had a droll sense of humor that was both sidesplitting and endearing. In essence George was a man of towering strength, who took his obligations and responsibilities with a seldom seen seriousness of purpose, and remains integral to the lives of so many, even today.