Rousakis, John P., 1929-2000.

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John Paul Rousakis (1929-2000), the son of Greek immigrants Paul and Antigone Alexopolos Rousakis, was born in Savannah on January 14, 1929. After graduating from Savannah High School in 1947, John Rousakis attended the University of Kentucky on a basketball scholarship. When an ankle injury ended his basketball career, Rousakis transferred to the University of Georgia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1952. Rousakis served in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War. In 1953, Rousakis married Irene Fotopoukus. The couple had three daughters and one son. Returning to Savannah in 1956, Rousakis opened an insurance agency, Rousakis Insurance, and became active in local civic and political organizations. After serving on the Chatham County Commission from 1965-1970, he was elected to his first term as Savannah mayor in 1970. His ticket included Bowles Ford, the first African American elected in Savannah since reconstruction. Rousakis went on to serve an unprecedented five terms as mayor from 1970 to 1991. In two elections he ran unopposed. Some of his administration's accomplishments included: building Savannah's tourist industry, expanding Savannah's historic area and landmark preservation program, revival and development of the River Street and City Market areas, rehabilitation of slum housing and revitalization of lower income neighborhoods, annexation of the Southside, developing youth education and employment programs, and bringing the 1996 Olympics to Georgia. Rousakis was very active in local and national organizations. He was a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. He was a past president of the National League of Cities, Georgia Municipal Association, and St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church (Savannah), where he was a lifelong member. He was also active with the Jaycees, Union Mission and American Cancer Society. Following the death of his wife in 1985, Rousakis married Elizabeth Lattimore Sparks in 1987. John Rousakis died in Savannah on December 11, 2000.

From the description of John P. Rousakis papers, 1962-2001. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 56372075

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Rousakis, John P., 1929-2000. John P. Rousakis papers, 1962-2001. Georgia Historical Society
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Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Carter, Jimmy, 1924- person
associatedWith Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Georgia Municipal Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National League of Cities. corporateBody
associatedWith Olympic Games 1996 : Atlanta, Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rousakis, Elizabeth Lattimore Sparks. person
associatedWith Savannah (Ga.). City Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Savannah (Ga.). Mayor. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Georgia--Chatham County
Saint Patrick's Day
Public relations and politics
Urban Renewal
Greek Americans


Birth 1929

Death 2000

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w64q9f5b

SNAC ID: 26160287