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GEORGIOS DRAKOU PAPADIMITRIOU (Greece, Athens 1897-1970 / act: Athens)

Georgios Drakou Papadimitriou Georgios Drakou Papadimitriou was born in the spring of 1897 in Athens. He was one of six children (five boys and one daughter) of the founder of the 'Central Bookshop' Demetrios Drakos Papademetriou (1859-1940) and a worthy successor to a long family tradition of publishers that continue their publishing work today. 'Drakos' is the nickname of Demetrios, that Georgios later excluded from his name.

At the age of ten years Georgios was still going to school but material needs in conjunction with his entrepreneurship led him to open a bookshop in Aeolou Street. He was an admirer of antiquity, and liked his close environment to be decorated with artworks of mythological subjects such as Leda and the Swan and Hygeia. He was a democrat and a proponent of the modern Greek language. He studied at the Law School of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens. His writing was particularly fine as a poet, but rather than write books of his own, he chose to publish the books of others.

George Drakos Papadimitriou fought in the Asia Minor campaign (1919-1922) and upon his return produced posters presenting the portraits first of Nicholas Plastiras and then of Eleftherios Venizelos. It should be noted that Georgios was the first publisher to release posters. It was these posters, which he sold on the street, that enabled him by the time he was twenty-five years old to set up a business, initially at 46 Praxitelous Street and later at 16 Dorou Street. His two brothers - Alexander and Evangelos - worked as assitants of Georgios, before they founded the Asteras Publications.

Most important about Georgios Drakou Papadimitriou was the fact he was the forerunner of the pocket book. Above all, however, he became known primarily for the quality of his publications. It was the first time in the history of modern Greece that books were released of such good quality, so well translated, and at such a low price. Indeed, for the widest possible dissemination of his products, he published his books in three forms - cheap with a cover of paper, medium with a hard paper cover, and expensive with a cover of black leather and gilt letters. In 1953 he won a prize from the Thessaloniki International Fair for the 100 Glorious Stories (1951-1952). His most innovative publications include the magazine The Joy of the Child (1940) and the Encyclopedia of the Greek Woman in series (1950). He also published Dimitrios Kambouroglou's History of Athens in three volumes (1959). The Greek publishing history recognizes Georgios Drakou Papadimitriou as an ingenious publisher.

[Megakles 09/2004]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
DELOPOULOS, KYRIAKOS "Agyra" born in 1890... 1990 Agyra, Athens

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