The first Greek known to set foot on U.S. soil was Don Teodoro or
Theodoros, a sailor and ship caulker serving aboard the expedition of
the Spanish explorer, Panfilio de Narváez, who anchored off what is
now Pensacola, Florida, in 1528. Offering himself as a hostage in
presumably killed by the Indians on the land.
In 1763, as Florida passed from Spanish to British hands, 1,403
people from the Mediterranean, 500 of them Greeks mostly from Mani,
were recruited to establish plantations near present-day New Smyrna
Beach, Florida. Andrew Turnbull, a Scott, married to Maria Gracia Rubini, the daughter of a Greek merchant in London, born in Smyrna,
Asia Minor, secured land about 75 miles south of St. Augustine, Florida, which he named New Smyrna in honor of his wife’s birthplaceAs the colony was unsuccessful, the Greek remnant of New Smyrna, no more than 100 people, found a new life in St. Augustine, Florida in 1776. A census in 1783 reports that most of the Greeks in St. Augustine were prospering and some had established themselves as merchants, but eventually became assimilated with the local Spanish population.
The first significant Greek community to develop was in New Orleans during the 1850s. By 1866, the community was numerous and prosperous enough to have a Greek consulate and the first Greek Orthodox church in the United States.
Immigration picked up in the 1890s, and 450,000 Greeks arrived to the States between 1890 and 1917, many as hired labor for the railroads and mines of the American West; another 70,000 arrived between 1918 and 1924. Less than 30,000 arrived between 1925 and 1945, many of whom were "picture brides" for single Greek men.
Greeks again began to arrive in large numbers after 1945, fleeing the economic devastation caused by World War II and the Greek Civil War.
After the 1981 admission of Greece to the European Union, numbers fell to an average of less than 2,000 annually. In recent years, Greek immigration to the United States has been minimal; in fact, net migration has been towards Greece. Over 72,000 U.S. citizens currently live in Greece (1999); most of them are Greek Americans.Today, Greek Americans can be found in every state of the Union, with a heavy concentration in New York City and Chicago, with
smaller communities in the greater Detroit, Cleveland, Boston and Baltimore areas. North & South Carolina, as well as Tarpon Springs, Florida are also home to a large Greek-American community.
The flood of Greek immigrants who arrived in America before 1920 can be traced along three major routes:
1. Greeks going to Western states to work on railroad gangs and in mines. As early as 1907, it was estimated by the Greek Consul General in New York that there were between 30,000 and 40,000 Greek laborers in the American West. They found work in the mines and smelters of the Rocky Mountain region, especially Colorado (see “Buried Unsung: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre” by Zeese Papanikolas) and Utah, and on the railroad throughout the west. Greek railroad laborers were especially concentrated in California, where in 1910, there were more Greeks proportionate to the total state population than anywhere else
in the U.S.
Though Greeks came to the West as manual laborers, many began to move into the middle class early on. Even before World War I, but especially in the ‘20s, many Greeks began to leave the mines and railroads to become storeowners, establishing restaurants, bars, candy stores, or confectioneries, hotels and other businesses at a rapid rate. Though many remained blue-collar workers, the
main development was toward the emergence of a Greek American bourgeoisie. Eventually, women arrived from the old country and a normal life was made possible, which further attenuated middle class aspirations
2. Greeks going to New England mill towns to work in the textile and shoe factories. New England was a second major destination of Greek immigrants, where they worked in textile and shoe factories. Although they settled in many towns in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts, the foremost mill town was Lowell, Massachusetts, a community that has a special significance in
the history of Greek Americans. In 1906, Holy Trinity, the first Byzantine style Greek Orthodox Church in America, was erected in Lowell. By 1910, Lowell, with a total population of 100,000, had 20,000 Greeks. By as late as 1920s, Lowell had the third largest Greek population in America, trailing only New York and Chicago.
“Greek towns” appeared in all parts of the U.S. wherever a sufficient number of Greek immigrants were located. Lowell, Massachusetts, had one of the first and most extensive Greek towns.
3. Greeks who went to the large Northern cities, principally New York and Chicago and worked in factories, or as busboys, dishwashers, bootblacks and peddlers, mostly in the big cities of the Middle Atlantic and Great Lakes states. By the eve of World War I, there were at least several thousand Greeks in large cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and Milwaukee, with Chicago and New York the preeminent Greek American cities.
Many Greeks in Chicago worked in meatpacking plants, steel mills and factories. But many others took the entrepreneurial route. It was in this capacity that the Greek immigrant was to make his most distinguishing mark on American society. Newly arrived and often still boys, Greek immigrants, who started out as bootblacks, busboys or peddlers of fruit, candy and flowers, somehow
managed to set aside a portion of their meager profits, their mercantile future almost predestined.
Once they settled in, the immigrants began developing a social life initially based around Greek coffee shops. Soon schools and churches were set up followed by the first Greek newspapers.
4. Tarpon Springs, Florida
The first Greek immigrants arrived to this city during the 1880s, to work as divers in the sponge harvesting industry. In 1905, John Cocoris introduced a new technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs and recruited Greek divers from the Dodecanese Islands and Halki in particular. By the 1930s, there was a very productive sponge industry in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars
After a red tide algae bloom in 1947 that wiped out the sponge fields, most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping. Today, the town is mostly shops, restaurants, and museums dedicated to the memory of Tarpon Springs' earlier industry.
BECOMING AMERICANS 1920–1960
The 1920s marked the start of a new age for Hellenism in America. The American government curtailed immigration policy and quotas, commencing an extensive campaign to 'Americanize' the immigrants and assimilate the millions of immigrants who had arrived in the previous two decades, particularly those from Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
In general terms, the Greeks reacted positively to assimilation. For example, the primary objective of the AHEPA organization was to assist Greeks integrate better into American society. There were other similar organizations that worked to achieve a balance between Americanization and preserving Greek identity such as GAPA and the Archdiocese, which acquired considerable prestige
from the 1930s onwards following the enthronement of Archbishop Athinagoras. Around the same time various other organizations also helped Greek overcome the financial crisis of 1929.
When the Greek-Italian War started in 1940, Greek-Americans mobilized in support of Greece, and Greeks were viewed in a particularly positive light by American popular opinion.
The 1950s saw the coming of age of the second generation of Greek-Americans, and with it social improvement for them and further integration of the Greek Diaspora into American society.
THE REVIVAL OF ETHNICITY 1960–1980
The beginning of the 1960s saw the so-called "revival of ethnicity," which entailed the widespread dissemination and acknowledgement of the cultural roots and traditions of each ethnic community, including the Greek-Americans. At the same time, the climate of radicalism and reflection in America at that time helped thenew generation of Greeks abroad, and in particular women, break free of traditional, patriarchal family structures within the Greek-American family.
The turn towards Hellenism became all the stronger with the arrival of new immigrants after World War II while the reputation acquired by Greeks in America strengthened the sense of pride in their Greek roots. Among the best-known Greeks from that time were Elia Kazan, the soprano Maria Callas, the conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos and the doctor George Papanikolaou. Immigration
flows increased in the period from 1960 to 1974 leading to the establishment of 'Greek town' in the Astoria area of New York.
The two-sided development of the Greek presence in America - assimilation coupled with a retention of Greek identity - found its perfect form of expression in the demonstrations over the Cyprus question after 1974. All the Diaspora organizations participated, including the Church led by Archbishop Iakovos, who had made the Archdiocese even more powerful after assuming the throne in
1959, never hesitating to express progressive views, such as his public support for the Civil Rights Movement in the Southern States.
A key element in the success of these demonstrations and the imposition of sanctions on Turkey by the USA in the period 1975–1978 was the role of the Greek-American members of Congress such as Representative John Brademas and Senator Paul Sarbanes.
The 1980s can be characterized as the start of a return to historical memory, a review of the path taken by Greeks in America. It was during that decade that many publications were released and the archive of photographer Leon Pantoti was rediscovered. This was yet another opportunity for Greek-Americans to honor their unique heritage.
After the 1981 admission of Greece to the European Union, annual U.S. immigration numbers fell to less than 2,000. In recent years, Greek immigration to the United States has been minimal; in fact, net migration has been towards Greece. Over 72,000 U.S. citizens currently live in Greece (1999); most of them are Greek Americans.
Moskos, Charles C., “Greek Americans: Struggle and Success”, 1989
Panagopoulos, E. P., “New Smyrna – An eighteenth Century Odyssey”
Saloutos Theodore, “The Greeks in the United States”, 1964
Iliou, Maria, and Kitroeff, Alexander, “The Journey: The Greek American Dream”, film, 2007
List Of well known Greek-Americans
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Daniela Amavia
- Jennifer Aniston - Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning film/television actress, best known for her role as Rachel Green on the sitcom Friends, daughter of actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow.
- John Aniston - actor, born Yannis Anastassakis, father of actress Jennifer Aniston.
- Hank Azaria - one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series The Simpsons
- Dennis Boutsikaris
- DeAnna Pappas
- Angela Bowie
- Paula Cale
- Gabrielle Carteris - actress, best known for her role as Andrea Zuckerman on the television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
- Paul Cavonis - TV and movie actor
- George Chakiris
- Michael Chiklis
- Tim Considine - actor, writer and photographer, grandson of vaudeville and film producer Alexander Pantages.
- Michael Constantine
- Nick Dennis
- Nancy Dow - actress, mother of actress Jennifer Aniston.
- Olympia Dukakis - Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress.
- Tina Fey
- Michael Flessas - actor, Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) winning film Dancer in the Dark at the Cannes Film Festival. Paternal grandparents both born in Greece.
- Zach Galifianakis
- Christopher George
- Sasha Grey - pornographic actress
- Angie Harmon
- Lindsay Hartley
- Marilu Henner
- Ant (Anthony Steven Kalloniatis) - Last Comic Standing comedian
- Melina Kanakaredes
- Andreas Katsulas
- Zoe Kazan - actress, granddaughter of Elia Kazan
- Nick Kiriazis - actor 
- Elias Koteas - Canadian/US movie actor
- George Maharis
- Constantine Maroulis
- Demetri Martin
- Maria Menounos
- Andy Milonakis
- Nico Minardos
- Alexa Nikolas
- Elizabeth Perkins
- Ryan Pinkston - TV and movie actor; model
- Chris Sarandon
- George Savalas
- Telly Savalas
- Alexander Scourby - actor and narrator, played 'Old Polo' in Giant, James Dean's last film
- Amy Sedaris
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler
- Marina Sirtis - played Counselor Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- John Stamos
- Mena Suvari - actress, best known for her roles in the films American Pie and American Beauty.
- Tiffani Thiessen - actress, best known for her role as Valerie Malone on the television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
- Betty White - actress
- Rita Wilson - actress, film producer and singer.
- Shanelle Workman - voice actress for various video games and animated TV shows
- Billy Zane - actor and director, best known for his role as Caledon Hockley in the film Titanic.
- Lisa Zane - actress and singer, sister of actor Billy Zane.
- Jason Mantzoukas - American actor, comedian, and writer.
- Kary Antholis - senior vice president for miniseries at HBO
- George Argyros - founder of real estate company Amel & Affiliates 
- Jason Calacanis - entrepreneur & founder of Weblogs, Inc.
- John Calamos - founder of Calamos Investments
- Michael Capellas - terminal CEO of MCI and Compaq
- Tom Carvel - founder of the Carvel franchise
- Christos Cotsakos - co-founder of E-Trade
- Zoe Cruz - ex co-president of Morgan Stanley
- Nickolas Davatzes - president and CEO of A&E Television Networks
- The Demoulas Brothers - founders of the DeMoulas' Market Basket
- Jamie Dimon - (Papademetriou) - CEO of JPMorgan Chase, grandson of Smyrna broker
- Peter Diamandis - magazine entrepreneur, founder of the International Space University
- Jim Gianopoulos - Fox President
- Bill Jemas - former publisher of Marvel Comics & former executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment Group
- Lazaros Kalemis - founder & CEO of Alpha Card Services
- Peter Karmanos, Jr. - founder, president & CEO of Compuware and owner of the NHL team Carolina Hurricanes
- Alyssa LaRoche - founder of Aimee Weber Studio Inc.
- Ted Leonsis - vice chair of AOL
- George Lycurgus - developer of hotels on Waikiki and the Volcano House
- George P. Mitchell - original developer of The Woodlands
- Peter M. Nicholas - co-founder of Boston Scientific Corporation
- Alexander Pantages - vaudeville and early motion picture producer and impresario
- Constantine Papadakis - president of Drexel University
- Greg Papadopoulos - senior vice president and Chief Technical Officer of Sun Microsystems Inc.
- Peter Peterson (Petropoulos) - ex-CEO of Bell & Howell, Lehman Bros, Chair Council on Foreign Relns, chair BlackStone, Nixon Commerce Scy
- Ted Phillips - president and CEO of the NFL team the Chicago Bears
- Harry Markopoulos - independent financial investigator
- John Rigas - founder of Adelphia Communications Corporation
- Stratton Sclavos - president & CEO of VeriSign
- Charles Skouras - movie magnate, president of Fox Coast West and National Pictures
- George Skouras - movie magnate, president of United Artists
- Spyros Skouras - movie magnate, president of 20th Century Fox
- Alex Spanos - California realty magnate, chaired Amer Bible Society
- Leo Stefanos - inventor of the Dove Bar
- William Tavoulareas - president of Mobil Oil Corporation
- Angelo Tsakopoulos - real estate developer and founder of AKT Developments in Sacramento, CA
- George Tsakopoulos - real estate developer and founder of Tsakopoulos Investments in Sacramento, CA
- P. Roy Vagelos - M.D. and former chairman and CEO of Merck "Most Admired USA CEO"
- Harry Wilson - former investor and restructuring expert
- Ed Zander - CEO of Motorola and former president of Sun Microsystems
- Alexandra Cassavetes - director, daughter of John Cassavetes
- John Cassavetes - movie director
- Nick Cassavetes - movie director
- George Pan Cosmatos1, film director, Tombstone, Rambo: First Blood Part II
- Milton Katselas - director, Hollywood acting teacher
- Elia Kazan - movie director, two-time Academy Award winner for Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata, East of Eden
- Gregory Markopoulos - film director, New American Cinema of the 1960s
- Paolo Marinou-Blanco - film director and screenwriter
- Andrew Moskos - producer/owner of Boom Chicago
- Alexander Payne - Academy Award winning movie director
- Phedon Papamichael - director, cinematographer
- Harris Savides, Cinematographer
- Andy Sidaris - film director of cult B-movie films
- Penelope Spheeris - director (Wayne's World)
- Billy Zane - actor, director
- Maurice Abravanel - conductor
- Teddy Andreadis - keyboardist
- The Andrews Sisters - singers
- Art Alexakis - singer/songwriter/guitarist, member of Everclear
- Johnny Antonopoulos- singer/guitarist
- Annette Artani - singer/songwriter
- John Cacavas - composer, conductor
- Maria Callas - considered one of the greatest opera sopranos of all time
- Kelly Clarkson - American Idol (Season 1) winner
- Greg Dulli - musician
- The Fiery Furnaces - indie rock band
- Alexander Frey - conductor, pianist, organist and composer
- Diamanda Galás - performance artist, vocalist, and composer
- Nick Gravenites - blues, rock and folk singer-songwriter
- Kalomoira - pop singer 
- Steven Karidoyanes - composer, broadcaster and conductor with Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra
- Wayne Kramer - guitarist for Motor City Five
- Tim Lambesis - Lead singer of Metalcore band As I Lay Dying
- Tommy Lee - heavy metal drummer
- Paul Lekakis - singer
- Jessie Malakouti - singer
- Athan Maroulis - singer, producer, musician, older brother of American Idol Season 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis
- Constantine Maroulis - singer, stage actor, American Idol (Season 4) finalist
- Dimitri Minakakis - original singer and founding member of the band The Dillinger Escape Plan
- Dimitris Mitropoulos - world-renowned symphony conductor
- Becky O'Donohue - singer and American Idol (Season 5) semi-finalist
- Tony Orlando - singer
- Johnny Otis - rhythm and blues musician
- Shuggie Otis - rock, blues & funk guitarist and songwriter
- Vangelis Papathanassiou (aka "Vangelis") (born 1943) - composer, performer
- Basil Poledouris - film composer
- Jim Sclavunos - drummer for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- Derek Sherinian - virtuoso rock and jazz fusion keyboardist
- Chris Spheeris - new age multi-instrumentalist, composer, recording artist, collaborated on several albums with Paul Voudouris
- Chris Trousdale (born 1985) - singer, former Dream Street member
- Tatiana Troyanos - mezzo-soprano
- The Vanity Set - alternative/rebetiko rock band
- Alex Varkatzas - Lead singer of Hard Rock/Metalcore band Atreyu
- Jim Verraros (born 1983) - singer, entertainer, one of the top 10 finalists in the first season of American Idol
- Yanni - new-age musician
- Frank Zappa - composer - see The Real Frank Zappa Book
- Spiro Agnew - former Vice President of the United States, Governor of Maryland, first Greek-American governor in U.S. history
- George Argyros - US ambassador to Spain
- Shelley Berkley - member of Congress
- Gus Bilirakis - congressman, Republican co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues
- Michael Bilirakis - Congressman from Florida
- John Brademas - former member of Congress, former president of New York University, former chair of Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Michael Dukakis - former Governor of Massachusetts, 1988 Democratic presidential candidate
- Nick Galifianakis - former Congressman from North Carolina.
- George Gekas - former Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Ron Klink - former Representative from Pennsylvania
- Tom C. Korologos - U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Reagan lobbyist
- Nicholas Mavroules - former Congressman from Massachusetts
- Andrew Manatos - former Assistant Secretary of Commerce under Jimmy Carter
- Sylvia Mathews - National Economic Commission staff
- John Negroponte - United States Director of National Intelligence, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations
- Peter Peterson - first Greek American Cabinet Officer, head of Blackstone Group
- John Podesta - White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton
- John Sarbanes - eldest son of Paul Sarbanes, Congressman, Maryland's 3rd congressional district
- Paul Sarbanes - former Senator for Maryland; co-sponsored the Sarbanes–Oxley Act on corporate accounting
- Tasia Scolinos - Justice Department Director Of Public Affairs
- Olympia Snowe - Republican Senator from Maine
- Zack Space - member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio
- George Stephanopoulos - political commentator, former White House Communications Director,
- George Tenet - former CIA director
- Dina Titus - Congresswoman from Nevada
- Frances Townsend - assistant to the President and Homeland Security Advisor
- Paul Tsongas - former Senator from Massachusetts
- Niki Tsongas - Congresswoman from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district
- Gus Yatron - former Pennsylvania Congressman and boxer
- Harry "the Golden Greek" Agganis1 - college football star and professional baseball player for the Boston Red Sox
- Tom Anastos - Head Hockey Coach, Michigan State University
- Peter Angelos - MLB owner of the Baltimore Orioles
- Annastasia Batikis - played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1945
- David Batista (Bautista) - WWE SmackDown!, professional wrestler (Greek mother)
- Clay Bellinger - MLB player of the Baltimore Orioles
- Adam Burish - NHL player with the Dallas Stars
- Nick Calathes - former Florida Gators basketball player
- Al Campanis - MLB player and executive of the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jimmy Carson - NHL hockey player (original family surname Kyriazopoulos)
- Chris Chelios - NHL hockey player
- Anton Christoforidis - professional boxer, NBA World Light Heavyweight Champion 1941
- Zach Collaros - quarterback for the University of Cincinnati football team
- Ria Cortesio - professional baseball umpire
- Tara Dakides - pro snowboarder and champion from California
- Chris Farasopoulos - NFL player, played for the New York Jets
- Nick Fotiu - NHL player, played for the New York Rangers
- Danielle Fotopoulos - soccer player, US women's national soccer team
- George Kottaras - catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers
- Nick Galis - basketball player, played in Europe (where he is known as Nikos Galis) and is regarded as one of Europe's all-time basketball greats
- Alex Grammas - MLB manager and infielder for St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.
- Laird Hamilton (born Laird John Zerfas) - surfer
- Alex Holmes - NFL tight end for the St. Louis Rams, mother is Greek
- George John - Soccer player, currently with Major League Soccer club FC Dallas 
- Maria Kanellis - professional wrestler with WWE Smackdown
- Alex Karalexis- professional fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Chris Karamesines - racecar driver
- Dean Karnazes - ultramarathon champion, writer, businessman
- Mike Karakas - NHL player for the Islanders 1935–1946
- Alex Karras - NFL player with the Detroit Lions, wrestler and actor
- Lou Karras - NFL player with the Washington Redskins, older brother of Alex Karras
- Ted Karras - NFL player with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, older brother of Alex Karras
- Gus Kartes - former Chicago Storm footballer
- Eric Karros - former MLB player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now a baseball broadcaster
- George Kastrinakis - former professional basketball player in Greece
- Michael Katsidis - (born in Australia) current boxer
- Bobby Kingsbury - MLB player for the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Frank Klopas - retired soccer player, formerly of AEK, Apollon, Kansas City Wizards, Chicago Fire and the U.S. national team
- Chris Kontos - former NHL player known for his prolific scoring in the play-offs
- George Kontos - MLB pitcher with the San Francisco Giants
- John Korfas - former Greek pro basketball player.
- Tom Kostopoulos - NHL hockey player.
- Niko Koutouvides - NFL linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Kosta Koufos - player for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA and the Greece national team
- Alexi Lalas - soccer player for the L.A. Galaxy, U.S. national team
- Steve Lappas - former college basketball coach at Villanova and UMass
- Themistocles Leftheris - American pair skater, 2007 U.S. National Pairs bronze medalist
- Kay Lionikas - played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1948–1950
- Billy Loes, MLB Pitcher for the Dodgers and other teams
- Jim Londos - champion wrestler during the 1930s
- Greg Louganis - Olympic diving champion (Greek by adoption; ethnically Samoan and Swedish)
- Christina Loukas- Olympic diver
- Nick Markakis - MLB outfielder who currently plays for the Baltimore Orioles
- Tino Martinez - former MLB first baseman for the N.Y. Yankees (Greek mother)
- Aaron Miles - MLB player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, and Colorado Rockies (paternal grandmother)
- David Nelson - former professional Greek basketball player
- Gus Niarhos - MLB Yankees, White Sox, Red Sox, Phillies
- Joe Panos - NFL player with the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills 1994–2000 (birth name Zois Panagiotopoulos)
- Petros Papadakis - Host of various sports shows on radio, former college football tailback and team captain at USC 1996–2000.
- Milt Pappas - MLB pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds and other teams
- Tom Pappas - Track & field decathlete, 2003 world decathlon champion and 2-time Olympian.
- June Peppas - All-American Girls Professional Baseball League 1948–1954
- George Parros - NHL hockey player
- Tony Pashos - NFL lineman with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Lonnie Paxton - NFL New England Patriots long-snapper 2001–2003
- Peter Philipakos - Soccer player, formerly of Olympiacos F.C., currently with Ethnikos Piraeus.
- Pete Pihos - NFL player with the Philadelphia Eagles (Pro Football Hall of Fame)
- Joseph Pilates - inventor of Pilates
- Dawn Marie Psaltis (Dawn Marie) - former WWE diva
- Kurt Rambis - former NBA player, won 4 championships with the L.A. Lakers (birth name Kyriakos Rambidis)
- Chris Roupas - Former Greek American Professional Basketball Player, First Penn State Nittany Lion to play professional basketball in Greece
- John Sitaras - fitness professional, creator of the Sitaras Method and founder of Sitaras Fitness in New York City
- Pete Sampras - tennis player, considered one of the best tennis players in history
- Peter Skouras - retired soccer player, formerly of Olympiakos Pireaus, PAOK Thessaloniki, San Diego Sockers North American Soccer League, and United States Youth National Teams
- Fred Smerlas - NFL player for the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots
- Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder1 - sports commentator
- Alex Spanos - NFL owner of the San Diego Chargers
- Trish Stratus - WWE diva
- Matt Stover - NFL player, kicker for Baltimore Ravens
- George Theodore - MLB outfielder for the New York Mets
- Craig Titus - American bodybuilder
- Gus Triandos - MLB player for the Baltimore Orioles and other teams
- Lou Tsioropoulos - former NBA player with the Boston Celtics
- Garo Yepremian - NFL player (Greek Cypriot origin)
- George Zaharias - sports promoter and professional wrestler in the 1930s (birth name Theodore Vetoyanis)
- Gust Zarnas - NFL player with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers 1938–1940
- Clint Zavaras - MLB pitcher with the Seattle Mariners in 1989
- Chloe Aridjis - writer (daughter of Greek-Mexican Homero Aridjis and American Betty Ferber de Aridjis)
- Aliki Barnstone - poet and translator, author of The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy: A New Translation (W.W. Norton, 2006)
- A. I. Bezzerides - novelist and screenwriter
- Demetrios Constantelos - priest and academic scholar
- Rae Dalven - author and academic (Romaniote - Greek Jewish)
- N. A. Diaman - novelist and artist
- Jeffrey Eugenides - novelist and short story writer
- Tina Fey, comedienne, former head writer of Saturday Night Live and creator of 30 Rock
- Christos Gage - DC/Marvel Comics/Wildstorm and Law & Order writer
- Nicholas Gage - reporter for the Wall Street Journal
- Dan Georgakas - writer, critic and member of the editorial board for Cineaste
- Panio Gianopoulos - writer and editor for Bloomsbury Publishing
- Vanessa Grigoriadis - contributing editor for New York magazine and Rolling Stone magazine
- George Gregoriou - William Paterson University professor, writer
- Arianna Huffington (born Arianna Stassinopoulos) - columnist, pundit and founder of the popular liberal website The Huffington Post
- John Kass - columnist, Chicago Tribune
- Zoe Kazan - screenwriter and playwright
- Paul Kemprecos
- Nick Mamatas
- Markos Moulitsas, blogger and political columnist, founder of the influential liberal blog Daily Kos
- George Pelecanos, crime novelist and television drama writer (The Wire)
- Stephanos Papadopoulos, poet, translator
- David Sedaris, essayist and radio contributor
- Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
- Byron Vazakas - poet (nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1947)
- Criss Angel - magician
- Pete Athans - mountaineer
- Constantino Brumidi - important artist of the Capitol 
- Yiorgos Caralambo - one of the eight men hired by US Army in 1856 to lead the camel driver experiment in the Southwest.
- Philip Tedro, or Hadji Ali, hired by US Army in 1856 to lead the camel driver experiment in the Southwest.
- Cat Cora - Iron Chef on Food Network's Iron Chef America
- Nick "the Greek" Dandolos1 - gambler
- Gracia Dura Bin - early settler, wife of Dr. Andrew Turnbull
- Iakovos - former Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, Harvard professor, Selma marcher, President World Council of Churches
- George Lois - advertising executive (ESPN, USA Today, Xerox, MTV, Wolfschmidt, Tommy Hilfiger), "Fizz Fizz What a Relief it Is", "No Dancing in the (a)Isles" "Crazy People" (Big break hired by Rossides for Javits 1960)
- Jack Pierce1 - makeup artist
- Jenni Pulos - On show Flipping Out
- Valerie Solanas - attempted assassin of Andy Warhol
- Dino Stamatopoulos - television comedy writer, actor and producer who has worked on Mr. Show, TV Funhouse, Mad TV, Moral Orel, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien
- Michael Symon - Iron Chef on Food Network's Iron Chef America
- Paul Vallas - CEO of the Chicago Public Schools
- Nick Venet - record producer
- Petro Vlahos - Oscar-awarded Hollywood special effects pioneer