BURBANK, Calif. – There are key individuals at any epoch and any place whose decisive actions shape their environment. George Kevork Mandossian is one such individual. Mandossian passed away on October 17, having led a full and long life. A leader of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA) and the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL), he also played an important role in the Armenian Church and the Armenian General Benevolent Union. He was a founder and guiding spirit of the TCA Arshag Dickranian Armenian School and a member of the founding council of the Montebello Armenian Martyrs Memorial Monument.
Mandossian was born in Jerusalem on February 24, 1934 to Antranig and Haiganoush Mandossian. During the first Arab-Israeli war, his family was forced to move from the new sector of Jerusalem to the Armenian Quarter of the old city. He graduated the Holy Translators Armenian elementary school in 1948 and the Catholic College des Freres afterwards. An athletic youth, he joined the Armenian Young Men’s Society (Hoyetchmen) to participate in scouting and sports, as well as cultural and social activities.
Mandossian found his first job in 1952 in nearby Amman, Jordan, as a draftsman for the US Foreign Aid Program (Point IV), and was able to find the time to simultaneously teach calligraphy at the Hetoumian Elementary School of that city. It was in Amman that Mandossian joined the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, and joined a basketball group that turned into the Armenian National Atheletic Union (Azkayin Marzagan Mioutioun) in 1955. As part of the Jordanian National Basketball Team, which had five Armenian out of eleven members, Mandossian participated in the first Pan-Arab Olympic Games in Alexandria, Egypt. His team won the third-place bronze medal.
In 1955, he began his studies of engineering at the American University of Beirut. In 1959 he and his parents were accepted as refugees from Palestine to the United States.
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