America has always been perceived as the modern-day land of milk and honey. A country full of opportunities not only for Americans but also for people from other countries. America has become a melting pot of cultures from all over the world.
1. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is an American actress who gained worldwide stardom through her portrayal of Rachel Green in the hit TV series Friends. This role earned her several awards including an Emmy, Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild award. Her TV career started in 1990 when she was cast as a regular in the short-lived TV series Molloy. The turning point of her TV career was when she auditioned for the TV series Friends and the rest, as they say, is history. Aniston’s father, John Aniston, is a Greek and a native Cretan. And in her younger years, Aniston and her family lived for a year in Greece after which they relocated to New York City.
2. Melina Kanakaredes
Melina Kanakaredes is a second-generation Greek-American. She is an actress and is widely known for her role as a detective in an American TV-Drama series which she left in 2010 after just 6 seasons. Kanakaredes has also starred in other TV shows such as Providence, NYPD Blue, Northern Exposure, and Due South among others. Though she mostly does TV series more than films, she does, however, still have several films to her credit. Her TV acting has not gone unnoticed as she has been consistently nominated in several award-giving bodies, and in 2000 she bagged the TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Drama for the show Providence. She is married to Peter Constantinides and they have two children.
3. Costas Kondylis
For over three decades, Costas Kondylis has been designing commercial and residential buildings in New York among which include the Trump World Tower. He believes in simple designs that would eventually develop it to accommodate the changing times, but the essentials remained the same. He was born in the Belgian Congo and studied in a boarding school in Greece for 6 years, moved to Switzerland, and in the late 1960s, relocated to New York and studied urban design at the University of Columbia. Today, Kondylis is the principal of Kondylis Architecture in New York and is continuing to design buildings that would define even more the Manhattan skyline for the years to come.
4. James N. Gianopulos (Jim Gianopulos)
Jim Gianopulos, born in New York City, is currently the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Inc. He is a second-generation Greek-American who dreamed of traveling the world, and for one summer worked as a sailor on a tanker. He moved to Los Angeles after finishing law school and was able to get jobs at Lorimar and Paramount. In 2007, he was named one of the most powerful people in Hollywood by Premiere, a New York-based film magazine.
5. Stratton Sclavos
Stratton Sclavos is the man behind the huge success of VeriSign, a security services and network infrastructure company. He was its Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer until his resignation in May, 2007. He is a second-generation Greek-American born and raised in California. He received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Northern California in 2000, and the following year he also received the Stanley Morgan Leadership Award for Global Commerce, and the same year was included in Forbes’ list of Top 50 CEOs list.
6. Leo Stefanos
Leo Stefanos was not born in America. He immigrated at the age of 35 and worked for a candy factory. After learning the ropes of making candy, he went on and opened his own store and called it Dove Candies and Ice Cream in Chicago. After an incident that involved his son running after an ice cream truck, he decided to make his own ice cream bar, and he called it the Dove Bar. When Leo Stefanos died, his son Michael took over the candy store and he expanded by selling the Dove Bar to local Stores. The popularity of the Dove Bar caught the attention of Mars, Inc. The Dove Bar was sold to Mars, Inc. for tens of millions of dollars.
7. Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan, an American actor, director, writer, and producer who introduced the likes of Marlon Brando and James Dean to the entertainment public. Together with Lee Strasberg, they established the Method acting, a novel form of self-expression and psychological realism. He was the director behind the hit movies A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden. Elia’s parents are both Greek. He was born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire on September 7, 1909 and died at a ripe age of 94 on September 28, 2003.
8. George Dilboy
George Dilboy has earned his place in American history as the first Greek-American to receive the Medal of Honor during World War I. He died during the war while leading an attack despite being seriously wounded himself. His father was the first to come to America in 1908, and he followed in 1910. Upon his death in 1918 at the age of 22, he was, at the request of his father, buried in his birthplace in Alatsata. During the Greco-Turkish War, his remains were desecrated, and the American flag was stolen. Then U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered Dilboy’s remains returned to the U.S. and for the Turkish government to issue an apology. On November 12, 1923, Dilboy was reburied with full military honors at the Arlington National Cemetery Section 18.
9. Tatiana Troyanos
Tatiana Troyanos, the American mezzo-soprano of Greek and German descent, had over 270 performances in the span of her career. At an early age, Tatiana had always wanted to be an opera singer, and it is believed to be the influence of her parents who were both aspiring opera singers. At the age of 16, her teacher took the steps to get her into the Juilliard Preparatory School, and there she had her first voice teacher. Her operatic career started in 1963 and spanned 30 years. She did not only limit herself to doing operas as she was also a recording artist. She was Anita in the operatic recording of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Tatiana Troyanos died of breast cancer on August 21, 1993, just 22 days shy of her 55th birthday.
10. Spiro Agnew
Spiro Agnew served under the presidency of President Richard Nixon as the United States of America’s 39th Vice President, and he was also the 55th Governor of Maryland. His father was a Greek immigrant, and his mother was a native of Virginia. He was raised as a Greek Orthodox but later became an Episcopalian. His political career started when he became the first president of the Loch Raven Elementary School PTA. In 1966, he ran and won the Maryland gubernatorial post, after which he became the 39th Vice President of the USA. His vice presidential term was cut short when, on October 10, 1973, he resigned from office after pleading no contest to criminal charges of tax evasion.