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Alex G. Spanos
Alex Spanos and his wife Faye are shining examples of how the American spirit of hard work and determination can pay off for those willing to follow their dreams.
“I always believed in the pursuit of one’s dreams. In buying the Chargers, I’ve been able to realize a dream,” Spanos said upon purchasing the team in 1984.
In 1951 at the age of 27, Alex Spanos decided he could no longer support his growing family on $40 per week working in his father’s bakery. So he borrowed $800, purchased a used catering truck and set out on his own by providing catering and support services for the migrant farm workers in California’s Central Valley.
From those humble beginnings, Spanos’ tireless work ethic built one of the leading real estate and development companies in the industry, and today he is the patriarch of one of the most accomplished and philanthropic families in the United States.
A.G. Spanos Companies builds multi-family housing and master planned communities and is one of the nation’s largest family-owned builders. Alex Spanos’ personal commitment to quality and integrity is now carried on by his family in the daily operation and management of the Los Angeles Chargers as well as the companies that bear his name.
Spanos made family part of his formula for business success. The A.G. Spanos organization, including the Chargers, is a family-run operation. Alex turned over the day-to-day operations of the Chargers to his oldest son, Dean, in 1994, 10 years after purchasing the team on Aug. 1, 1984. Today he enjoys retirement and watching his sons, Dean and Michael, along with grandsons A.G. and John guide the Chargers as they celebrate 33 years of the family’s ownership.
Spanos’ amazing journey and his passion for giving back is outlined in his autobiography, “Sharing the Wealth: My Story,” a compelling first-hand account of the events and decisions in his life that became his basic fundamentals for success.
Spanos’ community spirit and generosity are renowned. Few can match the benevolence and philanthropy that Alex and Faye have shown through their support of deserving institutions and community-service efforts. One of his more generous contributions resulted in the opening of the Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center in Sacramento. Southern Californians have Spanos to thank for the huge economic windfall of two Super Bowls (1998 and 2003) and a Republican National Convention in San Diego. In addition to the millions of dollars donated by Spanos and the Chargers Community Foundation, which he established, the Spanos family has delivered nearly $13 million to help San Diego’s youth by supporting education as well as health and fitness programs.
In 2008, the President of the Republic of Greece, Mr. Karolos Papoulias, awarded Spanos the Medal of the Commander of the Order of Honor. The honor came in recognition of his many contributions to the birthplace of his parents.
These acts of caring demonstrate the commitment of a man whose rags-to-riches story has been an inspiring example for others. Though his life has taken him places he never dreamed possible, Spanos continues to reside in his hometown of Stockton, Calif.
Alex and Faye are celebrating 69 years of marriage in 2017. And they will celebrate with their four children (Dean, Dea, Alexis, Michael and their spouses), 15 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.