If you were born into the Greek community around the suburbs of Philadelphia in Delaware or Chester counties, there’s a good chance that Dr. Nick Tsirakoglou was there to welcome you. He’s been a practicing Obstetrician, gynecologist, and surgeon for some 35 years. It is said that he delivered more than half of the Greek children in Upper Darby and beyond. Later in his career, he took on the position as assistant to his wife, Dr. Despina Tsirakoglou, at their family practice in the heart of the Greek community in Upper Darby, for the past 23 years.
Passionate about Hellenism and a dedicated member of the Greek community, Dr. Tsirakoglou has held the title of president of many organizations including the Federation of Hellenic American Societies, The Pan-Macedonian Society, and St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church. His love of soccer also placed him as president of the Hellenic Flames of Upper Darby, arguably one of the most recognizable Greek club houses in the Mid-Atlantic States during the 1980’s.
Growing up in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he earned his degree and medical license, his career path was planned early and was greatly influenced by an uncle who he deeply respected and admired. He worked briefly in London, England, but his love of country brought him home, back to Greece, where his dream to come to America came to fruition in 1978.
While working in Thessaloniki, he met his future wife and together they formed a bond of love and respect that went beyond their marriage. Their career paths intertwined, having shared their leadership as dedicated physicians, but also being parents to two sons. Over time, the name “Tsirakoglou” in the Greek-American community became synonymous with care. Generations of Greeks, just starting out on the American dream or established in the community, could call on Dr. Nick or Dr. Despina, as they are affectionately known, with confidence. Today the family practice reaches beyond the immigrant Greeks that flooded into their community and welcomes the newest wave of those from around the world that share their same story of coming to America.
Originally published on Cosmos Philly by Eleftherios Kostans. Video by Vasilis Keisoglou.
This video was sponsored by Harry Karapalides’ family.