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Editorial

Mayopoulos, of Greek Descent for Sure – But Is He also a Greek-American?

What pride we felt at the news that the great America enlisted an expatriate to save what was left of Silicon Valley Bank, and possibly the banking system of the United States and beyond!

And we came to the conclusion that he is a member of our Community because his name, Timothy J. Mayopoulos could not be more Greek.

But is he a Greek-American? Sadly, it seems he is not.

But there should be no doubt that he is of Greek origin. That is to say, that once upon a time, a few generations ago, a certain Mayopoulos crossed the Atlantic by ship, passed by Ellis Island, must have seen the Statue of Liberty with great excitement and then, after endless hardships, began his life in America.

How could this Mayopulos have imagined that one day, generations later, one of his descendants would be appointed as the guardian angel of the U.S. banking system?

However, no matter how much I searched his background, I found no mention of his Greek ancestry. I found that he was educated at Cornell and New York University Law School. I found that he worked in top positions at major banks as legal counsel.

But nowhere did I find any mention of his ancestry.

Of course, the man was under no obligation to mention it. He was born here, raised here, etc.

UPDATE: These commentaries are first written in Greek and then translated into English. Thus, this commentary appeared in our Greek edition yesterday. Since then, one of our amazing readers who read the editorial was kind enough to research the background of Timothy J. Mayopoulos and sent us the following valuable information I was not able to find:

Mayopoulos, Prodromos from Couronos, Greece arrived in New York in 1912 aboard the ship Oceania and was processed through Ellis Island. Another Mayopoulos, by the name of George, arrived in New York from Pyrgos, Greece in 1917 aboard the ship Dante Alighieri and was also processed through Ellis Island. The two Mayopoulos’ were apparently brothers but we do not know whose great-grandson Timothy J. Mayopoulos is.

Nevertheless, one wonders why Mayopoulos himself has not mentioned it. Out of indifference, out of a lack of psychological connection to his origins, out of embarrassment?

And if so, if any of these are true, it is not the responsibility of his family, but of all of us as a Community.

Thus, Mr. Mayopoulos seems to have been completely alienated from his roots.

Interestingly, however, he retains that long, difficult-for-Americans-to-pronounce name, Timothy J. Mayopoulos. He could have made it, for example, May.

And if he lived in a remote area of the United States, you could say, hey, OK.

But in New York? He lived in New York.

Is it his ‘fault’? Maybe. But maybe it’s also our fault for not creating the conditions that could also attract indifferent Americans of Greek descent.

He is not the only one who has no connection to our community. There must be thousands of them. Under every rock there is a Greek name. Does anyone even attempt to approach them except for Father Alex? I don’t think so.

So, we have a lot of work to do.

And, sadly, we lack leaders with the vision to take the Community even higher. Much higher.

By the way, Mr. Timothy J. Mayopoulos, although we tried, we were unable to contact you. We do not say that as a complaint. We fully understand how busy you are.

If, however, these lines happen to come to your attention, and if I am doing you an injustice somehow, not intentionally of course, but out of lack of information, if you want to have an ouzo and talk about our origins – something that was certainly taught at the universities you went to – we are here, 24/7.

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