George H. Roach was born September 21, 1909, in Greensboro, N.C. Following graduation from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he joined the family business, Roach Realty, one of the city's oldest real estate firms. He headed the City Board of Realtors in 1948 and was president of the Greensboro Jaycees in 1940. In 1955, Roach was elected to the Greensboro City Council, and in 1957, he was elected mayor. Roach was re-elected to a second term and served through 1961.
The most notable event during Roach’s tenure as mayor was the beginning of the sit-in movement in February of 1960. He reacted to the potential crisis by forming a committee, headed by Edward Zane, to mediate negotiations between merchants and black community leaders. Mayor Roach also contacted the national presidents of F.W. Woolworth and S.H. Kress Co., sites of local demonstrations. Another notable event of his tenure was the desegregation of Gillespie Park and Greensboro Senior High Schools. In July 1963, in the aftermath of protests against segregation at theaters and cafeterias downtown, Roach was appointed as a charter member of the local Human Relations Commission. He died in 1984 at age 74.