Sam Panopoulos

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Sam Panopoulos
Σωτήριος Πανόπουλος
Sotirios Panopoulos

(1934-08-20)20 August 1934
Vourvoura, Greece
Died8 June 2017(2017-06-08) (aged 82)
Occupation(s)Chef and businessman
Known forCreator of Hawaiian pizza
Christina Panopoulos
(m. 1967)
Hawaiian pizza, Panopoulos's invention

Sotirios "Sam" Panopoulos (Greek: Σωτήριος Πανόπουλος; 20 August 1934 – 8 June 2017) was a Greek-born Canadian cook and businessman, credited as the inventor of Hawaiian pizza.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Sotirios Panopoulos was born in Vourvoura, Greece, on 20 August 1934.[3][4] He emigrated to Canada in 1954, aged 20, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[2][4]


Panopoulos settled in Sudbury, and then Elliot Lake, Ontario, where he found work in the mines.[4]

After sampling pizza in Naples, Panopoulos first tried pizza in North America when he visited Windsor, Ontario.[4]

With his brothers Elias and Nikitas, Panopoulos owned the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. They offered typical American items such as burgers and fries and American Chinese dishes, some of which mix sweet and savoury flavours. In the early 1960s Panopoulos started offering pizzas, recently popular in the US.[5] In 1962, he had the idea to add canned pineapple to pizza.[2][6] This innovation (sometimes disputed) became popular with his customers, yet over time has also earned the disdain of pizza puritans.[4][7]

In February 2017, when Iceland's President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said that pineapple should be banned from pizza, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation."[4]

Personal life[edit]

Panopoulos and his wife Christina were married for 50 years.[6] They had a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren.[4]

Panopoulos sold the Satellite Restaurant in 1980, and lived in London, Ontario, for the rest of his life; he worked as a restaurateur there as well.[8]

He died unexpectedly at University Hospital in London, Ontario, on 8 June 2017.[2][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ysh Cabana (8 December 2023). "Hawaiian Pizza". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hawaiian pizza inventor Sam Panopoulos dies aged 83". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Canadian Sam Panopoulos created the Hawaiian pizza". The Globe and Mail. 26 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Sam Panopoulos, Canadian inventor of Hawaiian pizza, dies at 82". CBC News. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  5. ^ Chris Johnston (24 February 2017). "Sam Panopoulos, inventor of Hawaiian pizza, dies aged 83". Life and style. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Sam Panopoulos, Canadian Inventor Of Hawaiian Pizza, Dead At 83". 6 September 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Canadian inventor of Hawaiian pizza, Sam Panopoulos, has died at age 83". Toronto Star. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. ^ Andrew Lupton. "'He was a visionary': Mourners remember Sam Panopoulos the man who put pineapple on your pizza". CBC News. Retrieved 18 June 2017.