Alex Spanos, a son of Greek immigrants who used his construction and real estate fortune to buy the Chargers of the N.F.L. in 1984, died on Tuesday October 9 2018. He was 95.
In his early years, Alex Spanos worked day and night, seven days a week in his father’s bakery. His growing family was struggling to make ends meet on $40 a week. In 1951, at the age of 27, the time came for Spanos to make the toughest business decision of his life – to stay in the family business or strike out on his own.
More than 57 years later, Spanos is the founder of one of the leading real estate and development companies in the building industry. He is the founder of A.G. Spanos Companies, one of the nation’s largest family-owned construction companies, and his commitment to quality and integrity are imprinted in the daily operation and management of the San Diego Chargers as well as the 10 companies that are wholly owned and managed by the Spanos family.
The success of the A.G. Spanos Companies has allowed him to pursue many dreams, including owning a National Football League team. On Aug. 1, 1984, the dream became reality.
Alex turned over the day-to-day operations of the Chargers to his oldest son, Dean, in 1994 and it was with great pride in 2006 that Alex decided to step back from the team altogether and become a full-time fan. He enjoys watching sons, Dean and Michael, along with grandsons, A.G. and John, guide the Chargers organization to success.
It was Dean Spanos, now the team’s owner, who decided to move the Chargers from San Diego, their home of 56 years, to Los Angeles in 2017.
Alexander Gus Spanos was born on Sept. 28, 1923. After working in his father’s bakery in Stockton and serving in the Army Air Forces in World War II, he borrowed $800 from a banker to buy a truck and from it began selling sandwiches to migrant farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley.
He became wealthy investing in real estate and ultimately founded A. G. Spanos Companies, which has built mostly apartment buildings in 18 states.
Besides his son Dean, he is survived by another son, Michael; two daughters, Dea Spanos Berberian and Alexis Spanos Ruhl; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
His wife of 70 years, Faye Spanos, died in August at 92.