John S. Latsis
“No one has the right to be specially mentioned or praised when he executes his elementary duty towards his fatherland and his fellow men.”
John Latsis was born in 1910 in Katakolo, Ileia Prefecture and passed away in 2003. Coming from a poor family with many members, he was forced to work hard from an early age. In 1940 he married Henrietta Tsoukala at Pyrgos, in the Prefecture of Ileia. Together they had three children: Spiro, Marianna and Margarita. He passed away on April 10, 2003; two years later, his family established the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
His entrepreneurial activities extended over approximately seven decades from the end of the 1920s to the mid-1990s. His many business activities included agricultural products, industrial goods, petroleum and petroleum products trading, as well as coastal shipping, passenger and commercial deep-sea shipping, petroleum refining, construction, and banking.
Public Benefit Activities
His entrepreneurial activity was accompanied by numerous public benefit initiatives. Among his first coordinated actions was the creation of the John S. Latsis Ileians’ Scholarships Foundation to assist students from his home region. From 1991 until 2012 the Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Albanians of Greek Descent, established after the opening of the Greek borders with Albania to support Albanians of Greek descent, housed and trained more than 1,000 Albanians of Greek descent from the neighbouring country.
At the same time, he also contributed extensively during emergencies, such as the earthquakes that struck the areas of Kalamata in 1986, Pyrgos, Ileia in 1988, and Grevena in 1995. The Hellenic Fire Brigade, Hellenic Police and the Seamen’s Pension Fund also received large-scale donations.
In 1995, the building complex of the Latsio Elementary School was donated to the HAEF-Athens College; in 2005, two years after the death of John Latsis, the Latsio Burn Centre was completed and integrated into in the Thriasio General Hospital of Eleusis.
He was recognized with numerous honours for the breadth of his contribution from institutions such as the Academy of Athens and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.