George Argyros

George Leon Argyros (born 1937) is a former United States Ambassador to Spain. He is also a real estate investor, and was the owner of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners from 1981 to 1989.

George Argyros
George L Argyros.jpg
George Leon Argyros

1937 (age 82–83)
Alma materChapman University
OccupationAmbassador, real estate investor, and the former owner of the Seattle Mariners
Net worth
US$2.4 billion(2018 The World's Billionaires List)[1]
US$2.4 billion(2017 Forbes 400[1])
US$2.2 billion(2017 The World's Billionaires List)[1]
Spouse(s)Julia Argyros
United States Ambassador to Spain
In office
November 21, 2001 – November 21, 2004
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byEdward L. Romero
Succeeded byEduardo Aguirre

Early and personal lifeEdit

George Argyros was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Pasadena, California.[2] Argyros is a second-generation American citizen; his grandparents emigrated from Greece.[3][4] Argyros graduated from Chapman University[1] in 1959 with a major in Business and Economics.[2] He later served on Chapman University's board of trustees, including chairman of the board from 1976 to 2001.[5] The Chapman University, Argyros School of Business and Economics is named in his honor.[2]

He and his wife, Julia, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.[6]


Argyros made his fortune in real estate investments. He originally started his business career running a grocery store and moved on to buying and selling real estate to gas stations. He also was involved in buying and selling property in Southern California. From 1981 to 1989, he was the owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team.[7]

Argyros has done business through the real estate company Arnel & Affiliates (DBA "Arnel Property Management Company"). Arnel & Affiliates does business primarily in Southern California. Argyros has a net worth around $2 billion.[1]


Argyros served as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations for the U.S. Trade Ambassador. He resigned from that position in 1990, when President Bush appointed him to the board of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FreddieMac). He completed his term on the FreddieMac Board in March 1993.[6]

In 2001 Argyros was appointed Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. He was sworn in on November 21, 2001.[6] Many[who?] viewed the appointment as a political reward for his fund raising efforts for the Republican Party.[8]


In 1981, Argyros bought the Seattle Mariners. Argyros sold the team to Jeff Smulyan in 1989.[9] Argyros had openly tried to purchase the San Diego Padres in 1987 and to sell the Mariners to local buyers, but a final deal was never consummated with Padres owner Joan Kroc.[10]


In October 2013, George and Julia Argyros announced two $1 million donations benefiting the arts in Julia's hometown of Adrian, Michigan.[11] One was to help kick off a $3.5 million capital campaign for the Croswell Opera House and another was to benefit a fine arts education endowment through the Adrian Schools Educational Foundation.[11]

Argyros is on the Board of Directors of the Richard Nixon Foundation, which operates the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California; he is also a longtime trustee of his alma mater Chapman University. He is a trustee of California Institute of Technology,[12] and also a board-member for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "George Argyros & family". Forbes. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Amb. George L. Argyros". Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  3. ^ "#559 George Argyros - The World's Billionaires 2009 -". Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  4. ^ "George Argyros - Real estate mogul in U.S. |". Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  5. ^ "Argyros Family Foundation names peristyle plaza at renovated Coliseum". USC News. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  6. ^ a b c "Former Ambassador George L. Argyros". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  7. ^ "Scoring Profit in the Big Leagues : Though his Seattle Mariners haven't won a World Series, Newport Beach owner George Argyros stands to more than quadruple his investment in the team". Los Angeles Times. 1989-08-24. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  8. ^ Granelli, James S.; Scott Martelle (October 8, 2001). "The Region; Argyros Moves Closer to OK for Spain Post; Inquiry: Senate hearing on developer's appointment as ambassador is expected soon now that a state probe into his apartment firm has been settled". L.A. Times.
  9. ^ Zumsteg, Derek. Baseball in Seattle. Baseball Prospectus, 2002-03-28.
  10. ^ Sports People: Argyros Switches, The New York Times, May 30, 1987
  11. ^ a b The Daily Telegram Two $1 million gifts boost Croswell, Adrian Schools Educational Foundation Arts Endowment
  12. ^ "Trustee List". Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Duo Bring Personalities to Bear on O.C. Base Issue : Politics: Buck Johns is brash and George Argyros is private--but neither likes losing. Both want new airport". Los Angeles Times. 1994-04-17. Retrieved 2019-10-22.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edward L. Romero
U.S. Ambassador to Spain
Also accredited to Andorra.
Succeeded by
Eduardo Aguirre