Alex Manoogian

Description:
Inventor of single handle faucet. Founder of Masco Corp.
TAYLOR, Mich.-Armenian philanthropist Alex Manoogian passed away Wednesday evening. He was 95. Born in 1901, Manoogian emigrated to the United States at the age of 19 and moved to Detroit in 1924. He married the late Marie Tatian in 1931. She was his constant companion until her passing in 1992.
Manoogian was born in Smyrna (Izmir) and under the supervision of his parents, Tacvor (a grain merchant) and Tacoohie Manoogian, Alex received his primary and secondary education in local Armenian schools. In 1920, while Armenians were being persecuted in Turkey, and due to economic instability, Manoogian decided to leave his business to come to the US with two suitcases and $50. His parents later joined him in America, accompanied by his brothers Charles and George, and sisters Margaret and Aghavni.
He arrived in Bridgeport, Connecticut where he found a factory job, while teaching Armenian language in adult evening courses. After living in several cities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, he made Detroit his home in 1924. He worked in an auto parts manufacturing plant. In late 1928, Manoogian and two partners took the first initials of their last names and $5,000 and set up Masco Screw Products in a loft near Greektown. He grew this into the multi-national Masco Corporation with annual sales of over $3 billion.
Manoogian's greatest business achievement may have been his redesign of the Delta faucet. This single handle faucet resulted in enormous sales.
Although the depression years were hard, by 1936, Manoogian's company was large enough to be listed on the stock exchange-the first company owned by an Armenian to be listed on the stock market.
After their marriage in 1931, Manoogian and his wife had two children Louise Manoogian Simone and Richard Manoogian. Manoogian now has six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Manoogian joined the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Knights of Vartan in the 1930s. By 1940 he was elected Avak Sbarabed (National Commander) of the Knights, and in 1953 he was elected to the Central Board of Directors of the AGBU.
In 1953 Alex Manoogian was elected International President of the AGBU, a post he occupied with honor for 36 years. After 17 years of leadership, a time in which AGBU capital funds were raised from $8 million to over $50 million, resulting in tremendous expansion of worldwide activities, Manoogian was voted Life President in 1970, by a grateful General Assembly. In 1989, he was elected Honorary Life President and was succeeded by his daughter, Louise Manoogian Simone. At that time the AGBU's assets had already surpassed $120 million mark.