Born in South Bend, Indiana, USA, he moved to the west of Scotland in 1913, where his family settled in Craigendoran, near Helensburgh.
After studying at Balliol College and Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford, he served in the RAF and US Air Corps during World War II, afterwards becoming a sculptor of kinetic work in metal, in 1945.
He later became Professor of Fine Art at Bloomington and New York, and served on the board of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has received honorary degrees from several universities around the world.
As well as receiving commissions for sculpture throughout the world, he has gifted several works to institutions in Scotland.
These include Three Right Angles Horizontal, Highland Sculpture Park (1982), and a sculpture for the garden at Hill House, Helensburgh ( NTS
In Glasgow, he presented Three Squares Giratory to Glasgow University (1971-2), and gifted The Four "L" Eccentric to the city after exhibiting it at the Glasgow Garden Festival (1988).
The latter work, after languishing in pieces at a council depot, despite the sculptor's requests to have it re-erected or returned to him, has since disappeared without trace.
Rickey lived at East Chatham, New York State, and died at St. Paul, Minnesota, on 17 July 2002.
In 2007, a film was made by Paul Kreft exploring the works left in the grounds of Rickey's studio at his death. The film, George Rickey....Works, is available from the project's website: http://www.georgerickeyworks.com/film.html.
- The Herald, 22 June, 1995;
- The Scottish Field, [Three Squares Giratory], December, 1972, in Glasgow Scrapbook, no. 27, p. 11;
- Bremner, Douglas (2001) For The Benefit Of The Nation The National Trust For Scotland The First 70 years, Edinburgh, p. 206.
- Email from Paul Kreft, 22 April 2010.