John Calamos | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: 1940
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Children: John Calamos Jr.
Books: Investing in Convertible Securities: Your Complete Guide to the Risks and Rewards, MORE
Education: IIT Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology
Organization founded: Calamos
John P. Calamos, Sr. (born 1940) is a Greek-American businessman who founded Calamos Asset Management in 1977, and won several accolades, including, with the Calamos Growth and Income Fund, receiving both Standard & Poors/BusinessWeek awards for Excellence in Fund Management for year 2003 and year 2004.. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served as a US Air Force fighter pilot with more than 900 combat hours. Calamos received a bachelor's degree in business and economics from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1963 and an MBA in 1970, and currently serves on the IIT Board of Trustees. He also serves as Chairman of the National Hellenic Museum.
He is a mutual-fund manager and a self-made billionaire with an estimated net worth of 2.7 billion dollars according to Forbes.
The son of Greek immigrants, Calamos was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side and grew up living in an apartment above his parents’ grocery store on the 5100 block of West Division St. As a teenager he discovered some old stock certificates in the backroom of the grocery store. While they were worthless, he’s said they sparked his interest in investments. During his college years, he convinced his mother to back a $5,000 stock portfolio investment. Among the stocks he purchased was Texas Instruments which tripled in value. A lifelong entrepreneur, Calamos financed his education with income from a string of launderettes, and went on to become a military pilot during the Viet Nam War before launching his career as an investment adviser
Education & Military Service
Calamos studied at Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech. His undergraduate interests began in architecture, however he shifted his major to business and economics, earning a bachelor’s in 1963, while also studying philosophy. He often points to philosophy for teaching him to question assumptions and think critically, which he credits much of his success
In 1965, Calamos attended flight school at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas. One year later he was flying supersonic jets at night in formation. He served 5 years of active duty including a year in Viet Nam where he flew nearly 900 combat hours.
In 1970, Calamos earned an MBA from IIT.
Calamos Asset Management
Calamos made his fortune by founding and taking public Naperville, Illinois-based Calamos Asset Management, a mutual-fund company that as of 2007 oversaw nearly $43 billion in assets. By September 2016 assets under management at the firm had declined to 20.2 billion, while the firm's stock price had declined to about half of what it was in 2014.
In March 2016, Calamos relinquished the CEO title after struggling for two years to reverse a decline in the company's business and stock price. He retained the role of Chairman and Chief Investment Officer. Calamos remains active in the firm.
Philanthropy and Community Leadership
Individually and through the John P. Calamos, Sr., Foundation, Calamos is widely recognized for his contributions to education through support of the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) and the National Hellenic Museum, both located in his native Chicago. He sponsored the exhibit, The Greeks, at the Field Museum, which lead to a three-part PBS documentary of the same name.
In 2011 John Calamos, an Illinois Tech Life Trustee and a member of Stuart School of Business Board of Advisors, along with his wife Mae committed $10 million to the university, part of which established two endowed chairs, one in business and a second in philosophy, the study of which he frequently has stated was critical to his success. In 2016, John F. O. Bilson, Ph.D., was invested as the John and Mae Calamos Stuart School of Business Dean Endowed Chair, and in 2018, J.D. Trout, Ph.D., was invested as the John and Mae Calamos Endowed Chair in Philosophy.
The Aurora, IL, resident and Naperville, IL, business owner also is known for making businesses decisions that not only are wise investments for him and his companies, but also for the community. The recent 25-acre expansion of the CityGate Centre campus, known as CityGate North, is projected to bring 500 construction jobs and more than 100 full and part-time operational jobs to the area. In addition, events such as tournaments and expos will help support the 17 lodging sites operating in Naperville, as well as the areas many restaurants. It has received the endorsement of Naperville’s Mayor Steve Chirico’s Office and the Naperville Development Partnership, a public/private economic development organization that promotes business interests in the City of Naperville.
Calamos was criticized by activist investors who pushed for greater accountability and higher returns as well as concerns over instances of apparent self-dealing.
In September 2016, it was reported that a former Calamos investment manager had filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the firm and Calamos personally after sending an email to Calamos and three other executives expressing concerns about "shrinking assets, poor financial results, a high cost structure, conflicts of interest and personnel moves, abilities and turnover." The suit in the U.S. District Court (Northern District Eastern Division) of Illinois was dismissed with prejudice, a dismissal based on the [lack of] merits of a case [Case: 1:16-cv-09314 Document #: 41 Filed: 10/19/17 Page 1 of 1 PageID #:423]
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