Community in Shock: Peter Latos Passes

NEW YORK – Peter (Panagiotis) Latos, well-known Greek-American attorney and co-owner of New Greek TV, passed away on June 29. He fought heroically against prostate cancer for a number of years but finally lost his battle to the disease, plunging his family into mourning. He survived by his brother and law partner, Andrew, and his wife, Stephanie; his parents, Dionysios and Anastasia; his ex-wife, Julie, and their children, Anastasia and Zachary; and all the friends and family members who loved and admired him.
Andrew told TNH that the untimely death was the result of a medical error because the diagnosis was made one year after tests indicated a high PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen). “The first tests were undertaken in 2008 but Latos first learned about the results on Thanksgiving Day form his cardiologist, who was also a friend of his,” Andrew said.
Latos was immediately taken to the Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was operated on by Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotic Surgery. After intensive therapy he emerged triumphant from his battle with the cancer.
In 2010 he mounted an informational campaign in the community promoting timely testing and diagnosis of prostate cancer, speaking at t many events, and on TV and radio shows. {64793}

His health later became aggravated, but when his father visited him from Cephalonia three weeks ago, Latos’ health seem to have improved so spectacularly that his father returned to Greece.
In recent days, however, his condition deteriorated seriously until he lost the final battle.
His family, respecting his final wishes, will establish the Peter Latos Prostate Research Foundation with the aim of supporting research efforts and assisting needy members of the community through free prostate cancer screenings.
“Peter’s untimely death has plunged the family into mourning and has touched not only us, but everyone who had the good fortune to meet him and called him their friend. The loss is an even greater one for me, however, I have lost not only a brother, a friend, a companion and also my law and business partner,” Andrew said with a trembling voice.
Peter and Andrew Latos are both embodiments of the American Dream. They were the children of immigrants, graduates of the schools of the St. Demetrios School in Astoria, St. John’s University, and Touro Law School, and they built their own business in Astoria.
Their parents, whose surname was originally Gabrielatos, were born in Cephalonia and came to New York in 1963, when Andrew, their eldest, was three months old. Peter was born two years later. They were raised to love their heritage and the community. When their father was naturalized, the family name was shortened to Latos.
The brothers served in numerous community organizations, and it was no accident that Andrew was elected president of the Cephalonian Brotherhood of New York.{64805}

Savas Constantinides, president of Omega Brokers, Inc. which is located in Astoria, told TNH that he and his father are family friends who know the brothers very well. He stressed that he marveled at their accomplishments in the business world.
“Above all I admired Peter’s integrity and character and most of all his love for life. He taught through his magnanimity and generosity, and by the extraordinary manner in which he fought for his life… His family lost their adored son, father, and brother, and we have lost an exceptional friend,” Constantinides said.{64806}

Peter Latos was active in numerous community organizations, including the Hellenic Lawyers Association (HLA), to which he made substantial donations, including to its scholarship fund.
Past HLA president Mamie Stathatos-Fulgieri told TNH “he was larger than life,” and said that although his friends were aware of the prostate cancer diagnosis, they were still shocked to hear the news because he would always tell people who asked him about his condition that “I’m great. This isn’t going to get me.”
Stathatos-Fulgieri said “he didn’t go down easy. He went down fighting…He was a good friend and it’s so sad. I received a million texts yesterday and my post on Facebook has gone viral…it’s tragic.”
She noted, however, that Latos and his fiance Christine Petropoulos “did so much traveling this past year, really valuing life.”