by admin, May 19, 2012

Angelo Tsakopoulos - About Our Donor

Tsakopoulos  |   Philanthropist + Visionary + Greek

Angelo K. Tsakopoulos embodies in full the American dream. He came to this country from his native Greece at the age of 15 from a farming family in the village of Rizes, in Arcadia, Greece.  He had no trade, no knowledge of English, and no financial resources. Through energy and imagination, he overcame all barriers. His many achievements are legendary.

As a college student at Sacramento State University, he waited tables at night in the Tony Del Prado restaurant and sold real estate on weekends. He would eventually leave Sac State a few credits shy of graduation to work full time. At 21 years of age, he had already stockpiled experiences unusual to many of his fellow undergraduates: war, deprivation, emigration and stints as both a shoeshine boy in Chicago and a farmhand in Lodi.  Certain elements of his larger-than-life persona were present even in the days when he was studying business, philosophy and history under the Americanized surname of Chicos, a name he later dropped to reclaim his family name.

Mr. Tsakopoulos has since climbed to prominence through his business acumen and sheer tenacity. Angelo is founder of AKT Development Corporation, which controls about 40,000 acres of land in the region and neighboring San Joaquin County. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a major player in and fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and as a standard bearer for Greek political and cultural interests in America. The developer and his children have raised and contributed millions on national, state and local campaigns, as well as on ballot measures and political action committees, over the past decade.

Mr. Tsakopoulos is also dedicated to advancing the careers of Greek American politicians. Mr. Tsakopoulos and his family have established Hellenic Studies chairs at several major American universities across the country, Georgetown, Stanford and Columbia among them.  In his personal life, he has reflected the values and teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church and American tradition. He and his wife, Sofia, have devoted themselves to their six children, and two grandchildren.