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Six of the wealthiest Americans are of Greek origin

21 September 2012 / 22:09:14  GRReporter
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Six Americans of Greek origin with total assets of $ 14 billion are on the list of the 400 richest US citizens, which Forbes magazine publishes annually.

The first among them is John Paul DeJoria who is of mixed Greek - Italian descent. As the author of the article in Forbes wrote, he continues to rake in billions making people feel and look good. The billionaire, now 68, started his business while living in an old Rolls Royce on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and selling shampoos door-to-door. Today, the annual sales of his company's hair care products John Paul Mitchell Systems reach $ 1 billion. His other company - Patron Spirits, which DeJoria started as a hobby with his friend Martin Crowley in 1989 sold more than 2.4 million cases of tequila in 2011. The billionaire gives to charities that help people help themselves. Chrysalis organization provides a new start in life for the homeless in Los Angeles. Grow Appalachia gives them the supplies and knowledge to grow their own food.



The next richest descendant of Greek immigrants in the USA is John Catsimatidis. His $ 3 billion make him 132nd on the list of the richest Americans. The son of immigrants from Nisyros Island deals in everything from motor oil to olive oil. Catsimatidis managed to turn a small grocery shop into the Red Apple Group empire, which controls the Gristedes supermarket chain in New York as well as the expensive real estate on which the shops have been built. His investments in the energy sector include hundreds of petrol stations and the United Refining Company in Pennsylvania.




Jim Davis and his family are 229th on the list with assets worth $ 2.1 billion. He bought the company New Balance on the day of the traditional Boston Marathon in 1972. Today, it has expanded its activities beyond the production of running shoes and offers apparel and equipment for sports such as soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. The company maintains domestic production – 25% of its shoes sold in North America are made in the USA. In 2011, Davis bought two parcels of land near New Balance in Boston for $ 27 million. He plans to build a hotel, sports complex and more than three office buildings.





George Argiros takes the 250th position on the Forbes list with assets worth $ 1.9 billion. He was a former US ambassador to Spain and Andorra during the terms of George Bush Jr. and has made a fortune with real estate transactions. He is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Arnel & Affiliates and manages a real estate company in Southern California with 5,500 flats and two million square feet of commercial space. He is a partner in software companies and is also involved in charity.




Pharmaceutical tycoon Michael Jaharis is also 250th among the richest Americans. He made his fortune through the firm Kos Pharmaceuticals, which he founded in 1988. It was a leader in the production of the cholesterol-fighting medicine Niaspan and was sold to Abbot Labs in 2006 for $ 4.2 billion. In 2005, Jaharis established the pharmaceutical company Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, which he currently manages. He is a prominent philanthropist. The Tufts University Centre for Nutritional and Biochemical Sciences bears his name. One of his major donations was to the amount of $ 7 million, which he gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in support of collections of Greek, Roman and Byzantine works of art.



Dean Mitropoulos is the last of the Greeks on the Forbes’ list of the richest Americans. He takes the 360th position with assets worth $1.2 billion. Last year, he bought through his company Metropoulos & Co. the largest brewery in North America, Pabst Brewing Co., for $ 250 million.
The Greek immigrant has a knack for investment and knows how to turn around old and forgotten food brands. In 1996, he and his partners established International Home Foods, and then restored the pasta factory Chef Boyardee, PAM cooking sprays and Bumble Bee seafood. In 2000, Mitropoulos sold IHF ConAgra for $ 2.9 billion. Four years later, he bought Aurora Foods, saved it from bankruptcy, and merged it with Pinnacle Foods (Aunt Jemima, Duncan Hines Log Cabin). He and his fellow investors sold it to Blackstone Group for $ 2.2 billion in 2007. Mitropoulos has reinvigorated other companies such as Hillsdown Holdings (now a public company) based in the UK, Premier Foods Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes. He moved from Greece to Watertown, Massachusetts with his family at the age of 10. When he was 25, he went to Geneva to become a financial director of the firm GTE (now Verizon) and to be in charge of its European, Middle Eastern and African operations. Later he returned to the United States as the youngest person responsible for the control of the company. Mitropoulos is the owner of the luxury boutique hotel Castle on the Hudson.


Tags: EconomyCompaniesForbes magazineBillionairs
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