George's parents were Jeanette Lush O'Brien and John O'Brien. John O'Brien was a famous horse trainer for the circuses of the time. Jennie O'Brien was a high school equestrienne with the circus, and her husband trained her mounts.
After John's death in Baraboo in 1902, Jeanette (Jennie) O'Brien later married W.W. (Bill) Power, the elephant trainer, and young George learned the elephants from his stepfather.
George Power became famous for training the elephants to do amazing skits such as a mock baseball game, a war battle scene, a barbershop scene, bowling, and the waltz, two-step, Charleston, foxtrot, and hula dances. Power's Elephants were at the New York Hippodrome from 1905-1922; in vaudeville from 1923-1926; in Europe with Bertram Mills Circus from 1926-1937; returned to the States in 1937; and worked fairs and circuses until George Power grew ill and the surviving elephants were sold in 1942.