35th Anniversary: Nobody Does It Better: George Forbes

We were as psychic-obsessed as Nancy Reagan in the ’80s, so in 1983 we asked fortune teller Sandra Leigh Serio to predict how certain Cleveland celebrities would fare that year. In light of the picture here, from our August 1983 issue, we think she was right on the money about then-City Council president George Forbes: “In 1983 George Forbes will achieve some of his most cherished goals through an unusual twist of fate. He should, however, abide by his promises or others will be too eager to criticize him. His key word for 1983 is spotlight.”
— AM
Depending on the prism through which one views him, Forbes is either the city’s savior or the most destructive, self-aggrandizing and divisive influence around. There is hardly anyone in the city who does not have strong feelings about him.
“When the history of this city is written a generation from now, George Forbes will loom as the one man who kept it from sinking,” says John Climaco, a well-known political lawyer who is close to Forbes.
—“An Obsession With Power,” by Edward P. Whelan, Nov. 1986

I’m a goddamned enigma,” Forbes says one afternoon in his law office in the Rockefeller Building. “People don’t know what to think of me.
—“The 10 Most Powerful,” by Michael D. Roberts and Rory O’Connor, Oct. 1988
At 71, Forbes is as cunning and controversial as ever, ready to combat anyone who challenges him.
Cleveland would have been a far more interesting place with Forbes sitting in the mayor’s office. Of course, they would have had to bolt the chair to the floor.
—“The 30 People Who Defined Cleveland: George Forbes,”  by Michael D. Roberts, Dec. 2002
Share this story: