George Angelo Besbekos was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 2, 1924, son of Angelo and Rebecca (Spiropoulos) Besbekos. He enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the V-1 Program of the US Naval Reserve in November 1942 and from July 1943, under the V-12 Program, attended Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois and Northwestern University Dental School at Chicago, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1947. From December 1945 to June 1947 he was on inactive duty and during that period was appointed Ensign (HP) in the US Naval Reserve. Commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Dental Corps on June 27, 1947, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1964, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy on August 9, 1948. His selection for the rank of Rear Admiral was approved by the President on January 30, 1974.
He again reported for active naval service in August 1947 and was assigned as Dental Officer at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, Tennessee. In December 1947 he transferred to the Naval Air Technical Training Unit, Olathe, Kansas, where he served as Dental Officer until October 1948. He next joined USS Orion (AS-18) as Assistant Dental Officer and while on board that submarine tender participated in a six month deployment in the Canal Zone. From October 1950 to August 1951 he was Battalion Dental Officer with the SEVENTH Engineering Battalion, Fleet Marine Force.
Following an assignment as Assistant Dental Officer at the San Francisco (California) Naval Shipyard, he reported in January 1953 for a general postgraduate course at the Naval Dental School, Bethesda, Maryland. Completing his instruction in June 1953, he next served as Assistant Dental Officer at the Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. In September 1953 he joined USS Macon (CA-132) as Dental Officer and while on board that cruiser participated in two Mediterranean deployments and a midshipman cruise to Europe.
He reported in October 1955 as Assistant Dental Officer at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland and in July 1959 joined USS Saratoga (CVA-60) as Dental Officer. After two Mediterranean deployments, he was detached from that attack aircraft carrier in July 1961, then served as Assistant Dental Officer at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. He attended the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, from August 1964 to June 1965, after which he served as Assistant Dental Officer at the Naval Dental Clinic, Washington, DC, with additional duty in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington. In May 1966 he became Head of the Planning and Logistics Dental Division, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Ordered to the Naval Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, he was Assistant Dental Officer there during the period July 1967 to July 1970, then became Executive Officer of the Naval Dental Clinic, Naval Base, Charleston, South Carolina. In June 1972 he assumed command of that dental clinic and in June 1974 reported as Director/Commanding Officer of the Naval Regional Dental Center, Norfolk, Virginia. In that capacity, he also serves as Assistant Chief of Staff for Dentistry and Fleet Dental Officer on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet.
Rear Admiral Besbekos has the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.
Dr. Besbekos is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Endodontists. He enjoys golf, reading, photography and spectator sports.
He died January 2, 2017.