Outram was born on 25 March 1805 the son of Elizabeth Knox (1779–1866) and Joseph Outram, manager of the Clyde Ironworks. He was born in the parish of New Monkland and Coatbridge. In 1807 the family moved to Leith, the harbour area of Edinburgh. He attended Leith High School and then the University of Edinburgh. He qualified as an advocate in 1827.
In the 1830s he is listed as living at 14 Fettes Row, on the northern fringe of Edinburgh's New Town.
In 1837 he married Frances McRobbie (d.1880) who had been born in Jamaica. In the same year he took over the parent company which printed the Glasgow Herald, founded in 1783 by John Mennons. Under Outram's leadership the company grew considerably, becoming the "eponymous" Scottish printing company and renaming itself George Outram & Co. From 19 July 1839 the newspaper bore the name of Outram & Co as its printer.
He is buried in Warriston Cemetery in north Edinburgh. The grave lies close to the sealed east gate, behind the large monument to the poet Alexander Smith. He is buried with his wife, three sons, and mother (who died last).
He printed privately in 1851 Legal lyrics and metrical illustrations of the Scotch form of process, and later some of his work was collected posthumously in Lyrics, Legal and Miscellaneous, which was published with short biography in 1874.
- "George Outram". www.electricscotland.com. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Edinburgh Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Mackintosh Architecture: Biography". www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2018.