New Greek TV's featured Greek of the Week is Greek born Greek-American Chris Spirou, whose is a leader in both nations. An in-depth segment showcasing Spirou's professional and personal achievements can be viewed below, by scrolling to the very bottom of the article.
Spirou was born in Porti, Karditsa in turbulent times. He immigrated to America alone as a young teenager. As the successful Greek-American describes, "To sum it up, my uncle picked me up from the ship in New York in 1956 at the age of 13 and from there I went to Manchester, NH were my father, mother and brother already were settled".
The young boy's first nights on American soil were spent in Astoria, NY, before embarking on a bus ride that reunited him with his immediate family. He states, "I came by myself, 3 days later I took a bus up north by myself and had my first full meal in my life after rough times after the Civil War in Greece. I left behind the rest of my family who followed 4 years later...We couldn't afford to travel together".
Spirou excelled in his new life in Manchester and graduated with a Master's Degree in Political Organizations. After many political successes, he was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Hampshire in 1984; placing him as the highest elected American citizen from Greece, from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
In 1992, has was appointed President of U.S. President Bill Clinton's Electors. Spirou co-founded the Hellenic American University and serves as the President Emeritus and is on the University's Board of Trustees. The successful Greek-American is also the CEO and President of the Hellenic American Union. The scholar comments, "I have had a long political career and the last twenty years I have been involved in education...the HAU is both a multicultural and multi-educational center". The academic institution has students enrolled from 14 different nations.
The self described, "activist and progressive Clinton democrat", established the Hilary Clinton presidential initiative in New Hampshire. While a leader in education, he also conducts political consulting. Spirou accounts much of his ambition to knowing who he is truly is, "I know who I am, I am Greek 100%, American citizen of Greek ancestry, I'm not an American whose parents were Greeks, I'm a Greek-American... It is essential that we are proud of ourselves and who we are, it makes us better people, better citizens and better Americans".
The outgoing father and grandfather spends his spare time with his family, teaching, and traveling to his village. Spirou currently resides about 200 meters from the Acropolis. "I made a farm up in the village where my family, children, grandchildren and friends spend a couple of months per year and we do all of the rituals of how we came to be". He rightfully claims, "Its great to see the family traditions preserved in the most uncomplicated and simple form of village life".
The proud politician and academic declares, "the community needs the pride of Greeks, we came to this country with nothing, most of us were at the bottom of the ladder and we climbed it the old fashioned way and we earned it".
New Greek TV had the opportunity to conduct an on-air interview with Chris Spirou, where he discussed his achievements, ethnicity and ties to both the United States and Greece, that can be watched by scrolling to the very bottom of the page. He concluded our written article with, "I wish New Greek TV all the best, you deserve it and the Greek community deserves you".