The founder of the American-Hellenic Institute (AHI) Eugene T. Rossides died at age of 92. Eugene (Gene) Rossides is considered one of the pioneers who laid the foundations for the creation of the modern Greek lobby in Washington.
According to the AHI announcement, Eugenios Rossides decided to
set up the Institute after the Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974, to support US interests in US-Greece-Cyprus relations. The struggle and its contribution to the defence of international legitimacy in Cyprus have been widely recognized.
He has even been described as the architect of the embargo on the transfer of US arms to Turkey which was voted by Congress with bipartisan support after the Turkish invasion. The embargo came into force on 05 February 1975 and remained in force until 1978, and is still considered the “most substantial political victory for the rule of law in Cyprus”.
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Eugene T. Rossides was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 23, 1927. He studied law at Columbia University and worked as a lawyer in the major law firm Rogers & Wells. In 1956 he was hired by the General’s New York Attorney Office. He continued his career as an advisor to the US Treasury Department, where he was hired in 1959. Almost a decade later, he returned to the same ministry as Richard Nixon’s Deputy Secretary of State. Taking this position, he became the first Greek-American whose appointment was ratified by the Senate.
In the period 1976-1979 he was the publisher of the historical expatriate newspaper “Ethnikos Kirikas”. During the 1980s he worked on the election committee of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. He had published a series of articles and books on the Cyprus issue, the importance of Greece for US foreign policy, and the regulatory framework for product imports into the United States.
In 2004, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, acknowledging his offer, honored him with the Hellenic Republic’s Phoenix Award. Other distinctions followed; in 2014 he was honored by the Cypriot House of Representatives and in 2016 by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis.
The Greek-American Community is emotional due to Rossides’ death
In a personal tone, the President of AHI, Nick Larigakis, said goodbye to his mentor and predecessor in the leadership of the Institute. As he explained, Eugenios Rossides was a man who acted on the basis of his beliefs and principles and he therefore supported the issues that concerned him for all the right reasons.
“I have always tried to lead this organization in a way that always honors his name and the passion with which he championed the causes for which he cared deeply. Doing so, I am never under any illusion that I am replacing him because there is no replacing a legend; rather, just the attempt to do the best I can to continue his work and legacy” said Nick Larigakis.
On his part, AHEPA Supreme President George Choriatis expressed his condolences, saying that Eugenios Rossides would be missed by the lives of the people he touched and inspired by the dedication he showed to the pursuit of excellence and justice. Eugenios Rossides has been a member of AHEPA since 1954.
“A proud American and passionate Greek”,his legacy will live on through the American Hellenic Institute and the organizations he founded and led to support the rule of law,” Mr. Choriatis noted.
Former Chief of Defence (CHOD) of the Cyprus Republic, Lieutenant General Elias Leontaris, expressed in a post on Social Media, his “Eternal Gratitude” to the deceased for everything that the latter and the members of the AHI Administration and American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) offered to the Greek Military Delegation in Washington.
With information from ANA-MPA, AHI
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