For the cricketer of the same name see George Anthony (cricketer)
Anthony was born to Quakers on a farm outside the town of Mayfield, New York. His father died when he was five, and Anthony had to work to support himself, his mother, and his siblings. Anthony ran a hardware store, was married, and served as a county loan commissioner before serving in the American Civil War as a captain (brevetted major) of the 17th New York Independent Battery. At the end of the war in 1865, Anthony moved to Leavenworth, Kansas where he became the editor of several newspapers. He then held a few positions in internal revenue and was placed on the state board of agriculture.
Anthony was elected governor of Kansas in 1876. As governor, Anthony was known for penny-penching, and favored programs that did not cost the state much money. During Anthony's term, the state's first telephone was installed and the Last Indian Raid in the state occurred near Fort Dodge. He was not re-elected in 1879. In retirement the former governor farmed and invested. He died in 1896 and became one of four governors buried in Topeka Cemetery, and is interred not far from his predecessor Thomas A. Osborn.
Governor Anthony was a 2nd cousin of famous suffragette Susan B. Anthony.
Anthony, Kansas is named for him.
Anthony was the first Kansas governor to read his message to the state legislature.