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Greek publisher Christos Lambrakis dies at 75

December 21, 2009

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ATHENS, Greece—Publisher and journalist Christos Lambrakis, who headed Greece's largest media group for decades and was the driving force behind the creation of Athens' main venue for classical music concerts, has died. He was 75.

The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens said Labrakis died at the hospital Monday from multiple organ failure after receiving heart surgery on Nov, 30.

Lambrakis inherited a media group founded by his father Dimitris, who died in 1957. He expanded it to include some 20 newspaper and magazine titles, including the top-selling Ta Nea and respected daily To Vima, as well as a stake in private Mega TV.

"Christos Lambrakis was a very important member of the public life of the country ... who made a great contribution to the arts and to education," Prime Minister George Papandreou said in a statement.

"His loss leaves a huge gap, and marks the end of an era."

In recent years, Lambrakis was less actively involved in his publishing business and spent more time on his non-profit ventures -- the Lambrakis Research Foundation, created to promote education programs, and the Greek Friends of Music Society.

He led a group of private donors to create the Athens Concert Hall in 1991, and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, a related project in northern Greece.

Lambrakis never married.

His funeral will be held Wednesday at Athens' First Cemetery, a statement from his publishing company said.

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