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Marinos Korgialenios

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Marinos Korgialenios (other spelling: Corgialegno, Greek Μαρίνος Κοργιαλένειος; b. 1830 in Argostoli; † 1910 in London) was a Greek entrepreneur and patron of the arts.

Biography

The early death of his father, when Marinos was 11, and the subsequent impoverishment of the family forced him to drop out of school at 17 and work, from 1846 to 1849 for English merchant houses in Smyrna and then in Odessa. Later he met the daughter of a wealthy Greek merchant in London and settled there from 1872. He accepted the post of vice-director of a bank in order to study the British financial system and then opened the stockbroking firm M. Corgialegnos & Co. When the financial crisis of 1868 broke out, Korgialenios had already invested all his assets in works of art and jewellery and was thus able to survive the crisis unscathed.

He gained notoriety for endowing numerous public institutions, such as schools, sports facilities and libraries, and donating all of his remaining wealth to the Greek state. To this day, many institutions in Greece bear his name, including the Korgialenios Library in Argostoli.

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