Michael Dukakis

Michael Dukakis in 1976, photo By Original image: O’Halloran, Thomas J., photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Birth Name: Michael Stanley Dukakis

Place of Birth: Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 3, 1933

Ethnicity: Greek, including “from the Vlach villages”

Michael Dukakis is an American politician. A Democrat, he served as Governor of Massachusetts, from January 2, 1975 to January 4, 1979, and again from January 6, 1983 to January 3, 1991.

He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1988.

Michael is the son of Greek parents, Euterpe (Boukis) and Panos Dukakis. His father was from Adramyttion (Edremit), then in the Ottoman Empire. His mother was from Larissa, Thessaly, northern Greece, and moved to the U.S. in 1913. Michael is a first cousin of actress Olympia Dukakis (their fathers were siblings). He is married to author Kitty (Dickson) Dukakis. Among their four children is actor and music executive John Dukakis, Kitty’s son from a previous marriage, whom Michael adopted.

Michael is the first person of Greek heritage to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.

Spiro Agnew, whose father was of Greek descent, was elected Vice President of the United States in 1968, was re-elected in 1972, and served in the position from 1969 until 1973. Vice President Agnew was a Republican.

Michael won 30+ caucuses and/or primaries in the process of obtaining the 1988 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He is the first person of Greek descent to have won a major party’s presidential caucus and/or primary. He is also one of two people of Greek descent to have run plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. The other is Paul Tsongas, who ran for the 1992 nomination of the Democratic Party, and won 7 caucuses and/or primaries.

Michael’s mother had said:

One thing about this heritage of ours. I’ve come across so many of the women who are from the Vlach villages who are very strong; they’ve always had to take care of the family… so the women take over, the men go, start a baby on the way and off they go to various places to earn a living. And they send money to their families… the women are quite independent.

Michael’s paternal grandfather was named Stylianos/Stelianos Dukakis (the son of George Dukakis and Mary). Stylianos was born in Pelopi, Greece.

Michael’s paternal grandmother was named Olympia Georgiiou/Georgius.

Michael’s maternal grandfather was named Michael Boukis. Michael’s grandfather Michael was born in Zagorohoria.

Michael’s maternal grandmother was named Chrysoula Kambourios/Kambouris. Chrysoula was born in Vrisohori.

Sources: Article about Michael’s immigrant heritage – https://www.washingtonpost.com

Genealogy of Michael Dukakis (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Michael’s mother – https://www.latimes.com

13 Responses

  1. madman says:

    ‘including “from the Vlach villages”’. Lol, the reluctance.

  2. andrew says:

    Interestingly even Wikipedia reports the Vlach/Aromanian background of MD’s maternal grandma’s hometown, so at this point there’s no reason anymore to omit this part of his ethnicity.

    • follers says:

      Stop talking about Wikipedia. Stop “reporting” something as “new” when the same line was there in April when you commented last.

      4. Here’s what I’ll use here: if anyone can find some reference where Dukakis himself says he’s Aromanian or Vlach, I’ll include it.

      In theory, this shouldn’t be too hard, given that he was a major party’s nominee for President and there was a year and a half’s worth of detail press coverage.

      If someone can find his mother saying it, that would count, too, of course.

      The same for David Pittu, by the way.

      • andrew says:

        There is a sizable bibliography about Dukakis’ Vlach/Aromanian background. If him or his mother ever spoke about it, I don’t know. I doubt he would have impressed the American audience to gain votes. For example:

        Charles C. Moskos – Greek Americans: Struggle and Success
        Spyros D. Orfanos – Reading Greek America: Studies in the Experience of Greeks in the United States
        N.S Balamaci – Ethnic identities: Euterpe Dukakis’ Vlach and Greek background. The Greek American, 12 November 1988, pp 6-7

        • andrew says:

          “One thing about this heritage of ours. I’ve come across so many of the women who are from the Vlach villages who are very strong; they’ve always had to take care of the family…so the women take over, the men go, start a baby on the way and off they go to various places to earn a living. And they send money to their families…the women are quite independent.”

          –Euterpe Dukakis, interviewed in The GreekAmerican (New York, 1988)

          http://www.farsarotul.org/nl5_3.htm

      • andrew says:

        About David Pittu, it’s clear from the beginning that his family is Aromanian. As Bablah said, David’s grandparents have to be some kind of a unique case in history where 4 Romanians from Albania all found each other and married.

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