The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) mourned the death of former U.S. Congressman and New York University (NYU) President Emeritus, Dr. John Brademas. he passed away at the age of eighty-nine this summer and will be sorely missed. He was also the first American-born individual of Greek descent to be elected to Congress.
Supreme President, John W. Galanis, said that they were all very saddened by the news of his death. He had been an exceptional citizen and public servant with a passion for education and arts serving in the U.S. Congress for twenty years.
In the capacities of art and education, Brademas was “a giant” and a huge inspiration to many in particular the Greek-Americans. In Congress, he held a leadership title, and became the “Majority Whip,” making him the highest ranking Greek-American to have served in Congress.
Founder of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Gene Rossides spoke highly of Brademas and how he “exemplified Hellenic ideals.” Brademas was a public servant who placed great value on education and arts and was a real champion of the rule of law. His values were instilled in him being the son of Greek immigrants.
After Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus, the community’s attempt to impose an arms embargo on Turkey would not have been possible without him. AHI President, Nick Larigakis said that Brademas will always be fondly remembered by the AHI and its members for his devotion to the Institute, the Rule of Law, and to Hellenism of which many are extremely grateful.
It is not often that any institution owed as much to one person, as NYU does to Brademas. The period during which NYU and New York City were facing many challenges in the 1970s, Brademas relocated from Washington D.C. to Washington Square, a move towards making NYU what it is today – an outstanding educational institution.
Brademas had a remarkable character with great integrity and dedicated his time to causes and organizations, living a life of service. While in Congress and at NYU, he made progress under the most difficult circumstances. He firmly believed in NYU being at the center of the great civic discourses of today and used his influence to draw international leaders to Washington Square. Brademas proved himself time and time again, as a man of vision, optimism, and wisdom, developing institutions and being a “champion” in the world of arts and education.
As an individual, noted and respected for his intelligence and dignity, he served in prominent public roles which included being the Chair of the New York Federal Reserve, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, and also Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Brademas made so many contributions to the university’s history and future direction, one whose legacy will live on in education and the arts, where he is remembered as a remarkable individual.