Five Prominent American Hellenes Featured on Greek Postage Stamps

September 7, 2016

ATHENS – John Catsimatidis, Dr. Peter Diamandis, Costa-Gavras, George Stephanopoulos, and Rita Wilson were honored with their likeness depicted on a Greek postage stamp.

The presentation of the commemorative stamps of the five distinguished Greeks living abroad took place during a glamorous event held in the Auditorium of the Acropolis Museum, followed by an award ceremony of the International Foundation for Greece (IFG), which had proposed the commemorative series to the Greek postal service (ELTA).

Catsimatidis, Diamandis, and Gavras attended the event live, while Stephanopoulos and Wilson sent their greetings via video.

IFG Founder and President Aspasia Leventis opened the event and the first stamp presented was that of Science award winner Diamandis, an engineer, physician and entrepreneur who is best known as the Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation.

“I collected stamps as a child, both in the United States and in Greece, and I would go to the Post Office to buy stamps which I have in my collection,” noted Diamandis, who attended the event with his wife, children, mother, sister and cousins, noting the value of the award. He dedicated the stamp to his father, who recently passed away.

Next was the stamp of Catsimatidis, who began by mentioning that he came from the Greek island of Nisyros to the United States when he was six months old.

“I cannot be a candidate for the U.S. presidency because my father was late in taking me there by six months,” joked the recipient of the Entrepreneurship Award. He dedicated the award to his parents and grandparents.

Catsimatidis was accompanied by his wife and two children. “People ask me if I’m successful. Yes, I am successful because I have two children who were born in the United States but love Greece. This is my success,” he said.

“When I received the proposal by email I was a little surprised because I thought that stamps were only made for dead people,” director Costa-Gavras, recipient of the Arts and Letters award, mentioned with a fair share of humor.

“Stamps allowed me to travel to places that I had no idea existed,” Gavras noted, and continued by saying that “it is time to show that we as Greeks have a significant presence all around the world.”

Wilson, winner of the award for Film & Theatre, said she may not have a name that sounds Greek but she has a Greek heart, while the ABC News Chief Anchor Stephanopoulos concluded his message with the phrase “Zito i Ellada” (Long Live Greece).

In the ensuing discussion, Catsimatidis’ reference to the difficulty with which one can do business in Greece was particularly interesting.

He made mention to the “brain drain” that has afflicted Greece by referring to his friend and former basketball player and coach Steve Giatzoglou, who was in the room: “Steve is the only Greek-American I know who has returned from America to Greece.”

Catsimatidis referred to the government’s decision to limit television licenses as a “mistake,” and Gavras added that “it is the government’s responsibility to keep a check on the media which speaks directly to the people.”

After the interview, the honored guests visited the Acropolis Post Office to mail postcards with their stamps all over the world.

Adding humor to the occasion, Gavras bought a page of his stamp “to send a letter to you to the United States,” he told fellow honoree Diamandis, who in turn bought a page of his own stamp.



An ethnic Greek jailed in Albania after being elected Mayor of the seaside town of Himare said Prime Minister Edi Rama is behind it and controls the courts who sentenced him over the protests of Greece.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

STUTTGART, Germany — A dramatic stoppage-time goal saw Hungary beat Scotland 1-0 at the European Championship on Sunday to wreck its opponent’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time in its history.

HOUSTON  — Gerardo Arteaga scored from the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute and Mexico beat Jamaica 1-0 on Saturday night in its Copa America opener.

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia's center-right leader secured parliamentary approval to lead a new coalition government in a vote late Sunday.

JERUSALEM — Leaders of major churches have accused Israeli authorities of launching a “coordinated attack” on the Christian presence in the Holy Land by initiating tax proceedings against them.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.