Peter Angelos

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Peter Angelos
Born (1929-07-04) July 4, 1929 (age 85)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Residence Baltimore, Maryland
Education University of Baltimore School of Law
Occupation Lawyer,
Owner: MLB, Baltimore Orioles, Racehorse owner/breeder
Political party
Democratic
Spouse(s) Georgia K.
Children Louis, John P. Angelos grandchild, Peter C. Angelos
Honors Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1996)

Peter G. Angelos (born July 4, 1929), is an American trial lawyer.

Angelos is also the majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, a baseball team in the American League East Division.

Biography[edit]

Career[edit]

His parents are from Menetes, Karpathos, Greece. Angelos is a graduate of Eastern College of Commerce and Law the University of Baltimore School of Law. He began work as a criminal defense lawyer following graduation. For most of his legal career Angelos made a living as a lawyer representing Baltimore labor unions and their members in his own private practice, which he founded in 1961. Beginning in the 1980s, Angelos refashioned his firm from criminal law to civil class action suits. In 1982, his wealth and law firm expanded exponentially when he represented a large number of plaintiffs in asbestos litigation and won. He reportedly made over $100 million on this single case. Angelos was also enormously successful in representing the state of Maryland as lead attorney in a suit against Philip Morris and suing Wyeth, the makers of part of the diet pill combination fen-phen. It was after this that he became a major player in the Baltimore community. Angelos's law firm currently has offices in Baltimore; Philadelphia; Cumberland, Maryland; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Knoxville, Tennessee.[1]

Politics[edit]

A lifelong Democrat, he held a seat on Baltimore City Council from 1959 to 1963. He was the first Greek-American to be elected to the council. Angelos ran for mayor of Baltimore in 1964 as an independent, and while he lost with less than 10% of the vote, he became the first candidate in Maryland's political history to run as the lead on a bi-racial ticket. Three times in the 1960s he unsuccessfully challenged Republican incumbents in the Maryland Legislature.

Horse racing[edit]

Angelos breeds and races Thoroughbred horses and in 1998 purchased the 237-acre (0.96 km2) Ross Valley Farm in Baltimore County.[2]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Main article: Baltimore Orioles

In 1993, Angelos led a group of investors which included Tom Clancy and Steve Geppi that purchased Baltimore Orioles for $173 million from Eli Jacobs.[3] His official titles with the club are Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

Angelos arranged for a two-game exhibition series to be played between the Orioles and the Cuban national baseball team in 1999.[4] The Orioles won the first game, played in Havana, while the Cuban team won the second game, held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

In 2000, the team's general manager, Syd Thrift, told the Washington Times that the team had a practice of not signing players who had defected from Cuba, which he attributed to Angelos' desire to avoid doing "anything that could be interpreted as being disrespectful" by the Cuban government. Angelos denied the existence of such a policy. Subsequent investigations by Major League Baseball and the United States Department of Justice did not find evidence that the absence of Cuban players on the Orioles' roster or in its minor league system was due to discrimination.[5]

In May 2009, a Sports Illustrated article reviewing owners of Major League Baseball franchises rated Angelos as the worst owner in the Major Leagues. The article notes that the methodology "was not scientific" and "weighing heavily in the decision was the team's success or failure on the field."[6] Two weeks later, Brady Anderson, a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame, responded in an op-ed to the Baltimore Sun, writing that Angelos deserves to be on a list of the "best owners in baseball."[7]

On April 16, 2010, a Fox Sports article suggested that Angelos allegedly denied a job to Cal Ripken, Jr., an Oriole legend and student of the game, when Ripken offered to come work for the franchise in a supporting role to help the O's young talent develop. A day later, ESPN, MLB.com and the Baltimore Sun wrote that the Fox Sports story was inaccurate.[8] Angelos denied that the two had spoken about potential opportunities with the Baltimore Orioles, but said he welcomed future discussions on the topic.[9] [10]

On April 19, 2010, Cal Ripken Jr. issued a statement denying the Fox Sports story. In the statement, Ripken expressed an interest in returning to baseball and described his relationship with Angelos as "very good." [11]

Many Orioles fans have become disillusioned by the Peter Angelos era, during which the Orioles have experienced an unprecedented lack of success, winning only 1 division title, no pennant, and often finishing in last place.[citation needed]

Awards[edit]

He was named "Marylander of the Year" by the Baltimore Sun in 1988, with a citation that read: "Measured by professional accomplishments and contributions to his city and region, he is the Marylander of this decade."[12]

Angelos was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1996.[13]

Charitable works[edit]

Angelos is well known for various acts of charity and philanthropy, having contributed millions to civic and community institutions around Maryland. He is the largest individual donor to the University of Baltimore and pledged $5 million to the school in 2008. [1] In 2010, the Baltimore Sun reported that Angelos had recently donated $10 million to the university.[14] The same report notes that during the particularly hot summer of 2010, Angelos anonymously donated $300,000 to keep Baltimore city pools open.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [dead link]http://www.lawpga.com/contact.htm
  2. ^ [dead link]http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bal-te.md.preakness20mar20,0,7666866.story
  3. ^ Warshaw, Michael, "Steve Geppi - From Mailman to Tycoon" in DeGarmo, Scott (ed.), Success (June, 1994) ISSN 0745-2489, pp. 28-32
  4. ^ DAVID GINSBURG (1994-11-08). "Angelos 'Dominant' Force Behind Cuba-Orioles Series – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. ASSOCIATED PRESS. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  5. ^ Probe of Orioles finds no violations The Washington Times
  6. ^ "Arturo Moreno, John Henry rank among best MLB owners". CNN. May 8, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ Brady Anderson (June 2, 2009). "Viewpoint: Angelos doesn't deserve the bad rap". 
  8. ^ If Ripken calls, Orioles owner interested MLB.com
  9. ^ Orioles' Angelos denies that Ripken requested job in front office The Baltimore Sun
  10. ^ Orioles ready to talk if Ripken wants job ESPN
  11. ^ Ripken has considered return to Orioles MLB.com
  12. ^ "Peter G. Angelos, Marylander of Year; Honor: Lawyer invests in his hometown to improve it for all who live and work here". December 27, 1998. 
  13. ^ Peter Angelos, Esq. Ellis Island Medals of Honor
  14. ^ a b Peter Angelos remains a powerful paradox The Baltimore Sun

External links[edit]