To his longtime friend Manolis Mastromanolis, Peter and the Angelos family were the epitome of the American dream.

Mastromanolis, 82, was born in the village of Olympos on the remote Greek island of Karpathos in the Aegean Sea.

The island, with a population today of about 6,200, had long been occupied by foreign powers, Mastromanolis said, and few homes had phones, electricity or running water.

In 1954, when Mastromanolis was 12, he said, his family settled in East Baltimore, moving to a home just three blocks from another Karpathian family: the Angeloses. Peter Angelos’ parents had come to America decades earlier, Mastromanolis said, and they helped welcome other families from the old country.

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Most days, Mastromanolis walked past the bar operated by the Angelos family. Peter, about a decade older, was in law school, Mastromanolis said, and they became friends later in life through the tight-knit community of Karpathians. He said his niece married a nephew of Angelos.

Angelos was born in America, but Mastromanolis said he never forgot his roots — and his devotion to working people. He described him as generous, driven and definitely not shy.

”He helped many people from our island, Greek people, people in general,” Mastromanolis said, referencing the asbestos lawsuits filed on behalf of steelworkers at Sparrows Point. “He was short, but he was very tall in his thoughts and his actions. He took a back seat to no one.”

Angelos, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles for the last three decades, died Saturday. He was 94.

Mastromanolis recalled riding together in a car with Angelos when the lawyer was talking to his office manager about buying the Orioles — an audacious move. Mastromanolis later asked the office manager if Angelos could do it.

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”The manager said, ‘What Peter wants, Peter gets’,” Mastromanolis said, chuckling. “And that was very true.”

When Angelos was in his 80s, Mastromanolis said, he stopped by his law office at the top of One North Charles in downtown Baltimore. Despite his age, Angelos was working and arriving earlier than anybody else in the office, Mastromanolis said, so he asked him, why not take it easy?

“I don’t know what to do,” Angelos told him. “This is what I like doing.”

In recent years, Angelos and his family were private about the ailing patriarch’s health, said Mastromanolis, who lives in Perry Hall. Lately, he said, he watched the local news every day to see if there was any information about his friend.

”I’m going to miss him greatly,” Mastromanolis said. “I’m about to cry, but I don’t want to.”

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