A businessman with lots of charitable work
Michael Jaharis was a businessman and one of the wealthiest Greeks in the world. During the last years, he was regularly included in Forbes’s Richest Men in the World lists. Jaharis was the founder of Kos Pharmaceuticals and Vatera Healthcare Partners and also co-founder of Arisaph Pharmaceuticals. In 2013, he ranked 792nd, with an estimated wealth of US$1.9 billion. On 2014’s Forbes 400 list with the wealthiest people in America, he is in place 290 with 2.2 billion dollars. On 2015’s Forbes 400 list he is in place 307. He died in February 17, 2016.
He studied at Wisconsin, he served the military during the Korean War and he later started working with a pharmaceutical company, while studying for his law degree at night school. Partnered with Philip Frost, he later founded Key Pharmaceuticals best known for its heart disease and asthma drugs. Before selling it to Schering-Plough in 1986, Jaharis had successfully managed to boost company’s sales to US$836 million.
He graduated Carroll University and received his PhD from DePaul University. He worked for Miles Laboratories from 1961 to 1972. Later in 1972, he was named Chairman of Key Pharmaceuticals and held this position up to 1986, until its merger with Schering-Plough. In 1988, he launched Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc. His key accomplishment was the manufacture of cholesterol-battling drug Niaspan. In 2006, he sold to Abbott Labs adding US$4.2 billion to his fortune.
He has made major charitable contributions to the Columbia University Medical Center, the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, the Tufts University School of Medicine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera.
Michael Jaharis was also one of the founding members of Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Overseers for the School of Medicine of Tufts University and as a member of the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Visitors. He sits on Board of Directors of the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, and he is also Vice Chairman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Michael Jaharis was married to Mary and they had 2 children and 5 grandchildren.