Aris Anagnos, WWII Vet, Real Estate Developer, Philanthropist, Passed Away

Aris Anagnos. Photo: Youtube/American Hellenic.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Aris Anagnos, a successful real estate developer, philanthropist, and political activist, has passed away at the age of 95. Born in Athens in 1923, he served in the Greek Army with the Allied Forces in the Middle East during World War II.

Anagnos returned to Greece and worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association (UNRRA) in general relief work for war-devastated Greece.

In 1946, he came to the United States to study at the University of California at Los Angeles. Graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a major in Finance, Anagnos went into the insurance business, then later into real estate investments and development. Successful in business, he was also dedicated to many causes throughout his life.

Anagnos became politically active for human rights, civil rights, equal rights, civil liberties and the peace movement, serving on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for over twenty-five years, including a term as President for two years.

With his wife, the late Carolyn, Anagnos donated in 1984 to the Saint Sophia Foundation for the construction of a senior citizen home. By 1993, the donation was close to $1 million, and added to a donation from the Philoptochos, built The Senior Citizen’s Home in honor of Archbishop Makarios next to Saint Sophia Cathedral.

On March 31 of this year, Anagnos received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Hellenic Council. When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, Anagnos with some fellow Greeks established the Save Cyprus Council (later renamed the American Hellenic Council), which then grew into a lobbying group dedicated to promoting Greek-American interests.