George Argyros

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George Argyros
George L Argyros.jpg
Born George Leon Argyros
1937 (age 79–80)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Occupation Ambassador, real estate investor, and the former owner of the Seattle Mariners
Net worth Increase US$2.1 billion (September 2015)[1]
Predecessor Edward L. Romero
Successor Eduardo Aguirre
Spouse(s) Julia Argyros
Children Three

George Leon Argyros (born 1937) is a former United States Ambassador to Spain. He is also a real estate investor, and was the owner of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners from 1981 to 1989.

Early and personal life[edit]

George Argyros was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Pasadena, California. Argyros is a second-generation American citizen; his grandparents emigrated from Greece. Argyros graduated from Chapman University in 1959 with a major in Business and Economics. He later served on the board of trustees of that university, including chairman of the board from 1976 to 2001. The Chapman University, Argyros School of Business and Economics is named in his honor.

He is a trustee of California Institute of Technology[2] and also a board-member for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

He and his wife, Julia, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.[3]


Argyros made his fortune in real estate investments. He originally started his business career running a grocery store and moved on to buying and selling real estate to gas stations. He also was involved in buying and selling property in Southern California. From 1981 to 1989 he was the owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. He has been on the board of directors of many corporations.

Argyros has done business through the real estate company Arnel & Affiliates (DBA "Arnel Property Management Company"). Arnel & Affiliates does business primarily in Southern California. Through his business practices Argyros has achieved a net worth around $1 billion.[4]


Argyros served as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations for the U.S. Trade Ambassador, resigning that position in 1990, when President Bush appointed him to the board of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FreddieMac). He completed his term on the FreddieMac Board in March 1993.[3]

In 2001 Argyros was appointed Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. He was sworn in on November 21, 2001.[3] Many viewed the appointment as a political reward for his fund raising efforts for the Republican Party.[5]


In 1981, Argyros bought the Seattle Mariners. The team had struggled from inception in 1977 as an expansion team. He ran the team on a shoestring budget and talked about moving the team elsewhere. Argyros sold the team to Jeff Smulyan in 1989.[6] Argyros had openly tried to purchase the San Diego Padres in 1987 and to sell the Mariners, but a final deal was never consummated with Padres owner Joan Kroc.[7]


In October 2013, George and Julia Argyros announced two $1 million donations benefiting the arts in Julia's hometown of Adrian, Michigan.[citation needed] One was to help kick off a $3.5 million capital campaign for the Croswell Opera House and another was to benefit a fine arts education endowment through the Adrian Schools Educational Foundation.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires – George Argyros 14 September 2015
  2. ^ "Trustee List". Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Former Ambassador George L. Argyros". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  4. ^ "George Argyros". Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  5. ^ Granelli, James S.; Scott Martelle (October 8, 2001). "The Region; Argyros Moves Closer to OK for Spain Post; Inquiry: Senate hearing on developer's appointment as ambassador is expected soon now that a state probe into his apartment firm has been settled". L.A. Times. 
  6. ^ Zumsteg, Derek. Baseball in Seattle. Baseball Prospectus, 2002-03-28.
  7. ^ Sports People: Argyros Switches, The New York Times, May 30, 1987 
  8. ^ The Daily Telegram Two $1 million gifts boost Croswell, Adrian Schools Educational Foundation Arts Endowment

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edward L. Romero
U.S. Ambassador to Spain
Also accredited to Andorra.
Succeeded by
Eduardo Aguirre