1993 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Nothing is impossible in this country if you make up your mind to do it."
Alec Courtelis was born to Greek parents in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1927. At the end of World War II, he came to the United States and enrolled in the University of Miami. To fund his studies, he worked on construction jobs, cleaned dance clubs, and did lawn work for a couple in exchange for room and board. He earned a degree in civil engineering and practiced as an engineer for five years before starting a construction business with several partners. Courtelis later bought out his partners and continued running the company. The Courtelis Companies were responsible for major real estate projects throughout Florida. Courtelis served as chairman of the Board of Regents of Florida's State University System. In addition, he was involved in national politics and raised Arabian race horses.* Deceased