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Prominent Greek-American Businessman and Philanthropist Nicholas Karabots Dies, Aged 86

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Nicholas Karabots (Karabotsios), businessman and philanthropist, passed away on February 1, Penn Live reported. He was 86.

Karabots, with his wife Athena, both first generation Greek-Americans, established the Karamoor Estate Vineyard outside Philadelphia in 2006 and the Winery opened in 2011.

The cause of death was not released but the acknowledgment of Karabots passing was posted on the Karamoor Facebook page, “Anyone who visited Karamoor Estate heard plenty of stories and could see the love and meticulous care that went into every inch of the property, there was no room for mediocrity.”

The post continued, “When he had guests, a personal tour of the property was always on the agenda and if there were visitors at the winery, he loved to drive by and say hello to all as they would wave to him from the balcony of the tasting room.”

Karabots, the son of Greek immigrants, was raised in the South Bronx, NY. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for 11 years.

According to the Kappa Printing Management Associates website, Karabots began in the printing and publishing trade working for someone else and then eventually went out on his own. In 1970, he acquired the original Scranton Lithographing Company which evolved into Kappa Graphics. It was transformed from a commercial printer to a publication printer for such popular magazines such as TV Guide. By the mid-1980’s, Karabots acquired a series of publishing entities. Kappa Media Group publishes puzzle, sports, entertainment magazines, and periodicals. Kappa Publishing Group publishes adult puzzle books and magazines as well as children's magazines and maps.

Karabots and his wife established the Karabots Foundation to bring better health and youth related programs to early teenagers living in under-served communities. The Foundation helps provide access to medical facilities and expose young people to life’s possibilities beyond what they are exposed to day after day. 

The philanthropic efforts of Karabots and his wife included “their role as lead donors for the Franklin Institute’s 50,000-plus-square-foot addition, which opened in 2014,” Penn Live reported, adding that “The Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion is the largest expansion ever in the museum’s 150-year history.”

Karabots' motto was "Never forget where you came from,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time of the Pavilion’s opening, and noted the charitable efforts for youth education and medical facilities.

The Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is another example of the couple’s philanthropy. The Center “provides primary care services to the children of West Philadelphia and a full range of primary care services,” Penn Live reported, adding that “their foundation’s gift of $7.5 million to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery near Norristown allowed for a renovation of what was previously known as the Physician Office Building at 1330 Powell Street” and “will be known as the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Medical Building.”

Karabots and his wife were honored by the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley with the Eleftheria Medal in April 2016. Federation President Demetris Rozanitis spoke to Cosmos Philly about Karabots passing, “All the Greek community of Philadelphia is saddened today. Our own Hellene Nikos is not with us anymore. May God, as Greeks, pay him back for all the good he did to this world. On behalf of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and the greater Delaware valley, I send our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Athena and her family.”

Whitemarsh Township mourned the passing of Karabots in the following statement:

“The Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors mourns the passing of Nicholas Karabots. Mr. Karabots was a longtime Whitemarsh resident who had a significant impact on our township and community. He will be sorely missed but the legacy of his contributions to Whitemarsh will live on.

“For more than 20 years, Mr. Karabots and Athena, his wife, often made the impossible possible in Whitemarsh. Their contribution to the William Jeanes Memorial Library transformed a hub of our community and it now rightfully bears their name as the William Jeanes Memorial Library & Nicholas and Athena Karabots Center for Learning. Generations will benefit from the new life that was given to the library thanks to the generosity of Mr. Karabots and his wife. 

“Mr. Karabots was an annual supporter of Whitemarsh Township Day, the coming together of our community. He was a contributor to other Township initiatives and numerous organizations throughout Whitemarsh and the region; including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

“Mr. Karabots was a very successful businessman who, along with his wife, founded the Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery. He was a philanthropist who was not only generous financially, but also shared his knowledge and expertise.

We offer our deepest condolences to Athena, their children and to everyone whose life has been touched by Mr. Karabots.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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