NEWS

Prominent businessman Thanasis Giannakopoulos dies

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The president of one of Greece's biggest pharmaceutical companies and an influential personality in the Greek sports world, Thanasis Giannakopoulos has died. He was 88.

The last of three brothers, Giannakopoulos died on Tuesday in the intensive care unit of the Greek capital's Hygeia Hospital after suffering a stroke.

The president of the Vianex pharmaceutical firm founded by his brother, Pavlos, in 1960, also co-owned the Panathinaikos Basketball Club from 1987 to 2012 with that brother before handing the popular Athens team's reins over to Pavlos's son, Dimitris.

Nicknamed the “hurricane” by fans for his colorful outbursts on the sidelines of the court, Thanasis Giannakopoulos was also president of the club's amateur teams from 1999 to 2009, supporting young talent, while serving at the helm of Panathinaikos's volleyball team from 2008 to 2009.

Under the brothers’ leadership, Panathinaikos raised the cup in six Euroleague championships and took the title in 13 Greek Basketball League championships.

Thanasis Giannakopoulos's death comes less than a year after that of his brother, Pavlos, who passed away last June at the age of 89, and of the third brother, Costas, who died in April 2018. He was 85 years old.