George Petropoulos came from Vahlia, Greece, to America as several immigrants did, to make a better life for himself and his family members. Speaking no English and with a third grade education, he carved out a place in this nation with sheer difficult work and determination. George’s older brother had come to America initial, then George, and later other folks in the loved ones came. Most produced the trip by means of Ellis Island, as did my personal father, to the land exactly where the streets were paved with gold, or so they thought. Along the way, George changed his final name to Peterson and frequently told his son Peter how he regretted altering his name as he did not want men and women to feel he wasn’t proud of his heritage. And a proud Greek household they had been!
The tough instances that Peter’s household lived by means of, as he grew up, is a single that so numerous children of Greek immigrants, like me, can relate to. George had worked numerous jobs prior to lastly settling in Kearney, Nebraska. There he opened a 24 hour café and produced it a thriving enterprise out of sheer will and very hard labor. He married Peter’s mother, Venetia Papapavlou, who had come from a somewhat prosperous family members close to Sparta in Greece. My own mother’s family came from the very same location so once more, the story rang correct to me of Peter’s heritage. By the time she and George have been married, his Central Café was prospering and the wedding in 1924 had the promise of a fine future. George was a typical 24/7 functioning man and Venetia, the typical obedient Greek wife. Peter SO wanted to be one hundred% American but as in most Greek households, his heritage and religion played a large component in his youth and upbringing.
The starting of THE EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER was specially interesting to me as I could relate so considerably with my loved ones background. Peter Peterson went on to construct a “much better life” attending MIT and later Northwestern’s business school. As a young man, he held a spot in advertising with a massive Chicago primarily based firm. His inherited function ethic brought him speedily into a position of management at Bell and Howell exactly where he is credited with producing the “boom box”. As a Republican, he entered the political, worldwide arena as Richard Nixon’s advisor on international trade and later the Secretary of Commerce in the early 70’s. Playing an important function in corporate America, holding seats on boards, working with feel tanks and study groups, it wasn’t lengthy just before Peterson was into the Wall Street game. He soon became the head of Lehman Brothers and it was from there that Peterson helped discovered the private equity firm recognized as the Blackstone Group and when he left it, his element of the sale was for $ 1.85 billion.
Living the American dream didn’t come with out struggles and individual difficulties. He had to deal with brain surgery as nicely as went through two divorces. He had his share of enemies and supporters along the way, but is now married to Joan Ganz Cooney, who helped create Sesame Street, and is living his life for public service now in his eighties. He produced many wise choices in life and now desires to pass on to other people, specially the young, how to deal with the economic burdens the youth of America are inheriting. He did in fact contribute a lot of the net proceeds he created from Blackstone to set up the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to assist the youth of tomorrow. Peter Peterson’s story is an simple study which study significantly like a novel thanks to his humor and straightforward going style. This is effectively worth reading whether or not you just want a very good story of how a man can rise to prominence in spite of where they came from, or for the economic and political background that is clearly spelled out as nicely in the book. This is aptly titled AN EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER because it exemplifies all that title denotes.