G. Norman Reis was born on February 23, 1893 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the class of 1916 at the University of Pittsburgh and served as a veteran contributor to the University's Cap and Gown Club - an all male organization devoted to the production of annual musical comedy shows. Beginning with the 1913 show,
Prince of Sham, Reis collaborated with men, such as Gus Schnabel and Louis Fushan, on the book of lyrics used in many of the club's productions. In addition, he served on many committees and held offices in the club from the time of his earliest association until his death in 1958. These productions always used original books, lyrics, and music contributed by students at the University or by alumni members of the Cap and Gown Club. Many important figures had their earliest training and experience with the Cap and Gown including Regis Toomey, motion picture and musical comedy star, Woodman Thompson, a scenic designer, and Gene Kelly, dancer, instructor and director.
Reis was employed as a bacteriologist at U.S. Steel. He was an avid photographer, and, for a brief period, served as the official photographer for the
Pitt Alumni Review as well as chairman and member of the editorial board. He died at the age of 65, three months after his retirement.