Alex Manoogian (Alex Manoogian)

Alex Manoogian

Born into an Armenian family in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire (modern-day Izmir, Turkey), Alex Manoogian was 19 when he immigrated to the United States. He was a refugee from the Armenian genocide in the wake of the collapse of the empire during World War I and the rise of the Turkish nationalist movement. Arriving in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1920, Manoogian began working as a machinist. He also worked for short periods in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts. In time he was joined by his parents, two brothers and two sisters. Alex Manoogian and his family moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1924, attracted to opportunities in the booming auto industry. After gaining more experience, in 1929 he founded the Masco Screw Company, later known as Masco Corporation. By 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, Manoogian had expanded Masco to the point that it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Manoogian’s redesign and production of the Delta faucet, which allowed one-handed use, resulted in best-selling status for the plumbing fixture and generated substantial profits for his business wealth. In 1995 his company had $3 billion in sales and had 38 percent of the domestic market for faucets.

Alex Manoogian contributed generously to charitable organizations and educational institutions, especially to the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). In recognition, he was voted Life President in 1970 and Honorary Life President in 1989. Manoogian was also active in the Knights of Vartan; in 1940 he was elected its Avak Sparapet (National Commander). In 1968 he established the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian Cultural Fund. The fund, seeded with a $1 million endowment, is devoted to the publication and translation of Armenian scholarly and literary works, and Armenian cultural material worldwide. Through the AGBU, the Manoogians funded schools for ethnic Armenians in Southfield, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; Beirut, Lebanon; Zahle, Lebanon; Egypt; Tehran, Iran; Montreal, Quebec; Toronto, Ontario; and Montevideo, Uruguay (all are named for the Manoogian family). Manoogian also funded numerous Armenian churches, cultural centers, university chairs for Armenian studies and museums worldwide. He donated generously to Wayne State University in Detroit. Marie Manoogian died in 1993, and Alex in 1996. They were first interred in Detroit, Michigan.

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Born

  • June, 28, 1901
  • Smyrna, Turkey

Died

  • July, 07, 1996
  • USA
  • Detroit, Michigan

Cemetery

  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • USA

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