The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation was established by the Latsis family in 2005 to oversee and continue the philanthropic works of the late John S. Latsis. John Latsis was a Greek entrepreneur with strong social values and humanitarian principles who was as well-known for his commitment to providing funding and support for aid projects, cultural initiatives, scientific research and education as he was for his many successes in business. With the death of John Latsis in 2003 the family, which includes wife Henrietta Latsis, son Spiro Latsis and daughters Marianna and Margarita Latsis, made the decision to continue the public service legacy of their husband and father and support hundreds of projects each year both in Greece and on a global basis.
The Foundation orients activity towards the fields of social welfare, scientific research, cultural programmes and education as well as emergency aid in times of trouble. Endeavouring to achieve the maximum utilisation of funds and create the greatest multiplier benefit, the Board select each case for funding on its own merits whether that be an internal initiative or support for a third party. Throughout his lifetime, John S. Latsis established a number of ongoing funding projects which his family continue to support to this day. These include the Geneva-based Fondation Latsis Internationale, which awards prizes on an annual basis to those scientific or research groups who have demonstrated innovative and outstanding contributions across various scientific fields. The Ileians’ Scholarships Foundation has to date helped more than 1,800 post-graduate and undergraduate students to realise their ambitions of higher education, while the Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Albanians of Greek Descent has helped over a thousand Albanians to secure lodgings and education leading to a return to employment.
John S. Latsis was also renowned for coming to the rescue at times of national crisis. On one notable occasion in 1986, he came to the aid of a thousand people affected by the Kalamata earthquakes. Not only did John Latsis donate a factory producing pre-fabricated housing to the cause, he also opened up his cruise ship as a home to a thousand people for the two year period it took to rebuild the area. Today the legacy of John S. Latsis lives on in his family and the Public Benefit Foundation established in his name.