Gus A Stavros was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Gus is a 1948 graduate of Columbia University. He served in the infantry, Patton's Third Army in World War II, and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Gus arrived in Florida in 1958 to start a business forms manufacturing company in Pinellas County. After 30 years building the company into the largest forms manufacturer in the southeast from 3 to 550 employees, Better Business Forms was sold in 1984. In 1989, he retired to serve the community full-time in education, culture and other charities.
He has served as chairman of Eckerd College, chairman of Florida State University Foundation Board of Trustees, president of the University of South Florida Foundation Board of Trustees, chairman of the Florida Council on Economic Education, a founder, chairman and president of the Clearwater Performing Arts Center and Theater (Ruth Eckerd Hall), and president of the congregation of St. Paulâ€™s Lutheran Church in Clearwater. In January, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist appointment him to the Florida Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida.
Gus has received many honors and awards, including Florida Free Enterpriser of the Year in 1982, University of South Florida Distinguished Citizen Award in 2001, and the Torch Award given by the Florida State University Faculty Senate in 1998. He and Frances received the Ruth Eckerd Hall Marcia P. Hoffman Arts Education Award. In 2005 he received the prestigious Gold Leadership Award from JA Worldwide.
He received honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from Florida State University in 1991 and the University of South Florida in 1996 and an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Webber International University in 2002. The Free Enterprise and Economic Education Centers at Florida State University and the University of South Florida are named in his honor. The Gus A. Stavros Institute of Pinellas County, Florida administers Enterprise Village and Finance Park which are nationally prominent programs teaching free enterprise and our economic system to 17,000 fifth graders annually and fiscal responsibility to14,000 eighth graders annually.
Gus and his wife Frances celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on March 20, 2008. They have three children and two grandchildren.