George Gibb Nicholson was born on 20 Sep 1875 in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, near Manchester, England. He was the youngest son of Donald Nicholson (1834-1924) and Euphemia Scott Gibb (1840-1915). The family came to Tasmania in 1884 when George was 7 years old. He was educated at the Launceston Training College, where his mother was the principal. George won a prize for his drawing of a map of Tasmania at the Exhibition of 1891-92. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1899 with first-class honours in English, French, German and philosophy and the University medal in logic and mental philosophy. His major field of research was romance philology; in 1903 he became an assistant lecturer at the University of Sydney.
In 1920 he graduated MA and was appointed CBE. The following year he was appointed to the new McCaughey chair of French. In 1934 the French government appointed him chevalier of the Legion d'honneu. During World War II Nicholson acted briefly as chief censor and retired from his chair at the end of 1945. He was appointed emeritus professor and spent his last years in the family home at Hunters Hill.
George married Geneva-born Marguerite Marie Danuser in Adelaide on 26 Aug 1905. The couple had two children, a daughter Marguerite Marie (1907-26 Jun 2001) and a son Donald. George Nicholson died at 'Gloucester House' on 22 Dec 1948. His wife Marguerite died on 15 Jan 1961 aged 86.
The online edition of the Australian Dictionary of Biography has an extended entry on Professor George Nicholson.