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George Callas – A Celebrity Biography
George Callas was a Greek pharmacist who immigrated with his family to New York City in 1923. His wife, Litza Dimitriadou (Yakithi), was an energetic and socially aspirational woman whose middle-class parents had dissuaded her from pursuing art studies.
Their marriage was not ideal from the start, and neither their daughter Yakinthi (later Jackie) in 1917 nor son Vassilis in 1920 did much to improve things.
Early Life and Education
Callas’ success as an opera singer was marred by personal tragedy that would ultimately shape her life and career. Her son Vasily died tragically at 3 from typhoid fever in 1923, ending his promising musical career prematurely.
Tragically, the tragedy dealt a devastating blow to the Callas family who were already struggling in their marriage. Litza, who had an ambitious and volatile personality, believed she could never make George contented.
Litza eventually persuaded her husband to relocate the family to America, but when he abruptly made a sudden decision to flee, Litza was horrified and suspicious.
George Callas was an acclaimed opera singer. Her most renowned performance was as Norma in Bellini’s Norma.
Despite her talent, she struggled in the early years of her career. While studying art at Verona, she met Giovanni Battista Meneghini – an industrialist who would become both manager and lover.
Meneghini and Callas’ relationship was not without its challenges. In January 1958, Callas wanted to cancel her performance of Norma in Rome while Italian President Giovanni Gronchi was present, but Meneghini forbade her from doing so.
Callas endured the stigma that came with being an unmarried woman in conservative Catholic Italy throughout her career. Additionally, her extramarital liaison with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis negatively impacted her public image and ultimately resulted in severe setbacks to both of their professional lives. Ultimately, Callas’ career took a severe hit as her personal life took an unfavorable turn.
Achievements and Honors
George Callas was an esteemed political operative who served on Capitol Hill for more than 15 years. Most recently, he served as senior tax counsel to House Speaker Paul Ryan and spearheaded three significant tax packages that were eventually signed into law during his tenure.
He served as executive director of the Senate Democrats, serving under Senate Presidents Frank Dodd (D-West Orange) and Matthew Feldman (D-Teaneck). In 1979, he also helped build support for Ted Kennedy’s campaign to unseat Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination.
At the age of seven, he began taking classical piano lessons and developed an appreciation for opera music. His natural talent for singing and knack for dramatic interpretation were quickly noticed by his sister Jackie; however, despite these accolades he never quite lived up to expectations.
In the mid-1970s, Callas was active in Monmouth County’s Democratic Party and served as president of its independent Democrats branch.
He was elected to the Monmouth-based 11th legislative district in 1981, defeating Long Branch Mayor Henry Cioffi and Belmar Commissioner Paul Caverly. Subsequently, he served as Jackson Township business administrator and joined Monmouth County Private Industry Council.
Callas received her training at the Athenaeum Conservatory from Elvira de Hidalgo, with whom she would remain close throughout her career. De Hidalgo would go on to have a major impact on Callas’ success throughout her career.
George Andrew Callas’ net worth is estimated to be between $500-$749,000. According to LegiStorm Pro’s personal financial disclosures, he has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Callas was born Maria Cecilia Sophia Anna Kalogeropoulos in New York City on December 2, 1923 to George Kalogeropoulos – a Greek pharmacist – and Evangelia Dimitriadis (Litza).
At a young age, Callas developed an affinity for opera music; however, her mother disapproved of her singing and encouraged her elder sister Yakinthi instead. When their marriage ended in 1937, Callas and her family relocated to Athens, Greece where Callas attended college.
She married Giovanni Battista Meneghini in 1949, but he was an older and wealthier industrialist who took advantage of her for himself. Additionally, while still married to Meneghini, she had an affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.