Born in Honolulu, December 2, 1881, George Paul Cooke was grandson of missionaries Amos Starr and Juliette Montague Cooke and son of Charles Montague Cooke and Anna Charlotte (Rice) Cooke. He married Sophie Boyd Judd (granddaughter of missionaries Gerrit Parmele Judd and mother was Laura Fish Judd, daughter of Albert Francis Judd and Agnes Hall Judd) (April 4, 1906.) (They had six children, Dora, George Paul, Jr., Francis Judd, Thomas Hastings, Stephen Montague and Phoebe Cooke.)
In 1897, a group of Honolulu businessmen (including Judge Alfred S Hartwell, Alfred W Carter, and AD McClellan) purchased 70,000 acres from the trustees of the Bishop Estate and leased another 30,000 acres from the Hawaiian government. Molokai Ranch was formed. About 10-years later (December 1908,) the land was bought out by Cooke and his father; George Cooke took over the operation. Cooke was manager of Molokai Ranch for 40 years; when he left, he took with him a reputation as an honest and fair businessman, and the respect of the Hawaiian cowboys with whom he worked from the saddle.