George Box died in March this year at the age of 95. He was one of the most influential statisticians of the past 60 years. His book Statistics for Experimenters became an instant classic; he was a developer of new techniques and an inspirational teacher in the department which he founded at University of Wisconsin–Madison. One of the last works he completed was his autobiography: An Accidental Statistician was published by Wiley in May. Advance copies were flown out to him a few days before he died. Here we present extracts from the book, not as an obituary but as a tribute to him. We think they give a flavour of his wit, his kindliness and his work.