Eder was born in Mattsee and ordained a priest on 15 July 1956. He served the diocese of Salzburg throughout his career. Even before becoming archbishop he regularly wrote letters to newspaper editors expressing his conservative views.
He was chosen to be Archbishop of Salzburg becoming on 21 December 1988, and following papal approval was consecrated on 26 February 1989 by his predecessor Karl Berg. That year he said AIDS was "a punishment from God for unnatural sexual behavior"; he opposed abortion even in cases of rape, reporting he had read that it rarely results in conception. He also opposed sex education programs. In 2000, he insisted that the memorial service for the victims of the Kaprun disaster include a Eucharist, which prevented the head of the evangelical church from participating. This provoked the greatest number of withdrawals from the church registers in the history of the Archdiocese.
He died on 19 September 2015 after a long illness having recently moved from Salzburg to a retirement home in his hometown.
- "Alterzbischof Georg Eder verstorben" (in German). ORF. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
- "Früherer Salzburger Erzbischof Georg Eder verstorben". Der Standard (in German). 19 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
- "Rinunce e Nomine, 23.11.2002" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 23 November 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2019.