AHEPA Gala to Honor Judge Tsoucalas on September 27

The Honorable Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas. Photo: archons.org

NEW YORK— The Manhattan Chapter of the Order of AHEPA, Delphi # 25 will host a Gala dinner event in honor of the Honorable Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas, celebrating a pillar of the Greek-American community with more than 50 years of public service and 38 years on the bench. Judge Tsoucalas is also being honored for his lifetime of service to the Order of AHEPA and having served as a past President of the Manhattan Chapter. The Gala will take place on September 27 at 6:30 PM at the Loeb Central Park Boathouse – East. Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased online at the Eventbrite link, The AHEPA Delphi 25 Chapter Gala.

One of five children of George M. and Maria (Monogenis) Tsoucalas, Nicholas was born on August 24, 1926 in New York City and educated in the public elementary and secondary schools. While attending school, he also worked in the restaurant his father owned and operated for 40 years at Broadway and West 145th Street in Manhattan, Le Petit Paris. Nicholas grew up attending Saint Spyridon Greek-Orthodox Church in Washington Heights, NY where he played on the Church’s basketball team from 1941-44 and became the Youth Director from 1943-44. In 1944, Nicholas joined the U.S. Navy and served as a radio operator on APD and transport vessels in the European theater of World War II, as well as the Caribbean and North Atlantic. Upon returning home, he enrolled in Kent State University, Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1949. He subsequently entered New York Law School, receiving his LL.B. in 1951. That same year, Nicholas was recalled into the Navy, serving during the Korean Conflict aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Wasp. Following that service, in April 1953, Nicholas was admitted to the New York Bar and began practicing law, specializing in immigration and admiralty matters. He also attended New York University School of Law for graduate courses in Immigration Law and Federal Practice and Procedure.

From 1955 to 1959, Nicholas was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was also appointed to supervise the 1960 Census for New York’s 17th and 18th Congressional Districts and served as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Appraisal, Neversink Riparian Rights. In April 1968, Nicholas was appointed a Judge of the Criminal Court of The City of New York. He was appointed Acting Supreme Court Justice for Kings and Queens Counties between January 1975 and January 1982, after which he resumed service as Judge of the Criminal Court. Among the notable cases over which Judge Tsoucalas presided was the infamous “Son of Sam” case in the late 1970’s. President Reagan nominated Judge Tsoucalas to the Court of International Trade, and the nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 1986. In addition to his judicial duties at that court, he served as a visiting judge in U.S. district courts throughout the country and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second circuit. He became a Senior Judge on September 30, 1996 and, after a 30-year term as a federal judge and a total of 50 years in the legal profession, he officially retired in August of 2015.

Judge Tsoucalas has served with distinction in numerous other positions, including Chairman of the Committee on Juvenile Delinquency for the Federal Bar Association, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Order and Responsibility of the American Citizenship Committee of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, President of the Greek-American Lawyers’ Association, President of the Board of Trustees of the Greek Orthodox Church of Evangelismos, President of the St. John’s Theologos Society, and President of the Parthenon Foundation.

Judge Tsoucalas and his wife Catherine (Aravantinos) Tsoucalas were married in 1954. They have two daughters, Stephanie Turriago, a teacher in the New York public schools, and Georgia Argyrople, an attorney who has worked for the American Cancer Society. Judge Tsoucalas also has five grandchildren, Victoria, Nicholas, Catherine, Vivian and Christina.

AHEPA, the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in the early 20th century. Its scope is international with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Europe, and “sister” chapters in Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of AHEPA Australasia.

On December 18, 1953 a young attorney at the start of his career in private practice and later to become a prominent Federal Judge in the U.S. District Court of International Trade, Nicholas Tsoucalas, was initiated into Chapter # 25 of The Order of AHEPA; he would eventually serve as President of the Chapter and continue as a Life member. The Delphi 25 Chapter continues the tradition of AHEPA’s ideals and values of promoting education and Hellenism through many efforts of public service and philanthropy.