Alex Spanos

Alexander Gus Spanos, "Alex G. Spanos" (born September 28, 1923, in Stockton, California) is an American real estate developer and self-made billionaire of Greek [] origin who owns the San Diego Chargers. He is married to Faye Spanos, is a father of four and lives in Stockton.

According to "Forbes", in 2004 Spanos was worth $1.1 billon [] . He has written a book called "" which details his rise from a moneyless man of 27 years to become a billionaire. He started and owns A.G. Spanos Companies, one of the largest construction services companies in the United States [] . The corporation is based in Stockton and has 10 subsidiaries.

Spanos earned varsity letters in swimming and diving at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and later distinguished himself as an amateur golfer. Spanos was the first person ever to be on the winning teams in both the Bob Hope Desert Classic in Palm Desert (1977) and the Bob Hope British Pro-Am (1980).

Spanos began life working as a baker, but when the business nearly went bankrupt, he decided to go in a different direction. In 1951, he used an $800 loan to purchase a small trucking company, which he turned into a successful enterprise. Spanos used his profits to invest in real estate, and by 1960, he had an incorporated business.

In 1984, Spanos bought 60% of the San Diego Chargers from majority owner Eugene Klein. Over the next 10 years, he bought out the shares of several small co-owners, bringing his control of the team to 97%. However, he remains partnered with retired San Diego restaurateur George Pernicano, an investor in the team since a few years after its inception. Since 1994, Spanos' son Dean has handled many of the daily operations of the franchise. According to Forbes, in 2007 the San Diego Chargers are worth $826 million [] .

Alex Spanos also was the recipient of the AHEPA Award, the prestigious awards to recognize members of the community for their contributions and achievements in their chosen field of endeavor.

The elder Spanos was one of the largest contributors to George W. Bush's campaign in 2004. By contributing $5 million to 527 groups that supported the Bush campaign in 2004, Spanos ranked among the top five GOP donors. President Bush appointed Spanos to the Kennedy Center board in 2004. Spanos was inducted into the California Building Industry Hall of Fame in 2005.

Spanos revealed a comples side with the help of his close friend Bob Hope. The entrepreneur displayed an entertainer's talent and flair of his own when he lived a childhood dream and danced on stage. Together, Spanos and Hope sang and danced on numerous occasions both in the United States and abroad. As a tribute to Bob Hope, Spanos donated a lead gift of $500,000 for the renovation of the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Stockton, and with the approval of the City of Stockton, renamed the facility the Fox California Bob Hope Theatre.

Humanitarian efforts

2003 - Alex Spanos donates a hefty amount to renovate Lincoln High School's football stadium. His grandchildren attended and are currently attending Lincoln High. The football field was one of the first in the country to be fitted with the advanced artificial turf now seen in the NFL. The stadium is used extensively by the football program as well as by other sports teams, the physical education classes, and the marching band.

2003 - San Diego Fire Relief Fund $1 million, the Chargers' Monday Night Football game which had to be moved from San Diego to Tempe, Ariz., football fans donated more than $230,000 to the relief fund.

2000 - The Spanos family and the Chargers announce the contribution of more than $3 million toward the new Chargers Champions community outreach initiative benefiting students, schools and educators who are "making the difference" for San Diego's future. Chargers Champions also encompasses the team's ongoing support of youth and high school football as well as its longstanding community service programs, such as the Blood Drive.

The Chargers honored 22 local high school juniors as the first Chargers Champions for demonstrating leadership, service, citizenship and commitment in their schools and communities. Each student receives a college tuition scholarship of $7,500 as well as a state-of-the-art laptop computer.

The Spanos family contributed $250,000 through Chargers Champions to create and fund freshman football and freshman volleyball in San Diego City Schools beginning in the fall of 2000.

1997 - The Alex G. Spanos Sports Fields are dedicated on the grounds of Kate Sessions Elementary School in Pacific Beach, California, culminating a $102,000 donation from the Alex Spanos Family. The students from Kate Sessions and The Bishops School, as well as the general community of Pacific Beach, use the fields.

Spanos donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to help flood victims in Northern California.

1996 - Spanos received the Gloria Swanson Humanitarian Award at the American Cinema Awards' 11th Annual All-Star Gala in Beverly Hills. The award is given to the individual who contributes, beyond all others, to those who are less fortunate in the United States and around the world.

He's been very generous to his alma mater, University of the Pacific. The 6,150-seat Alex G. Spanos Center opened on the Pacific campus in 1981, a $7 million events center used primarily for Pacific Tigers basketball and volleyball as well as a variety of community and university events. Pacific's landmark Conservatory of Music building contains the beautiful 950-seat Faye Spanos Concert Hall, home of the famed Brubeck Institute. The building and Hall were opened in 1927 and underwent extensive renovation in 1988 thanks to a leadership gift from Alex and Faye Spanos.

Alex G. Spanos Stadium is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in San Luis Obispo, California. It is home to the California Polytechnic State University Mustangs football team. The facility opened in 1935. It was renamed Alex G. Spanos Stadium in a ceremony on November 18, 2006.

Spanos was initiated into Stockton Chapter Order of DeMolay in Stockton in 1940. Spanos received his Masonic 33rd Degree at the San Francisco Scottish Rite Cathedreal of Free & Accepted Masons in 1995. He also belongs to the Ben Ali Shrine of Free & Accepted Masons in Sacramento, California. Spanos received the Legion of Honor from the Order of DeMolay in 1996. Spanos was inducted into the Order of DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 13, 1997.

Alex and Faye Spanos contributed a major gift of $1 million to the Greek Fire Relief Fund following the catastrophic fires that hit Greece in August 2007. []

Additional information

Christopher Spanos, one of Alex's grandchildren, is currently attending his high school years at a private school Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, CA.


* [ A Biography on "Hellenic News of America"]
* [ Local News Interview from KOVR 13, Sacramento]
* [ Overview of "Sharing the Weath"]
* [ Texans for Public Justice]

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