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The Early Years
John G. Rangos was born in Steubenville, OH in the summer of 1929. He grew up during the Depression with his mother and grandfather in northern WV and Fredericksburg, VA. As a child, he was very much aware of the changes that swept through his community as the hardships of the Depression gave way to the difficulties of war. The men in his community shipped out to war and the women worked at factories to support them. At a young age, he felt pride in the collaboration and sacrifice for our country that he saw among the citizens.
John G. Rangos, Sr.
As a young man, Rangos attended the Houston School of Business. He interrupted his education to join an Active Air Force Reserve unit in Pittsburgh, PA. Declining a first lieutenant commission in the Air Force Reserves due to the six-year commitment it required, he opted to join the Army, where he served from 1951-54. During his service, he attended the U.S. Signal and Communications School at Ft. Gordon in Georgia. After completing courses on Advanced Communications, he entered a combat signal team in the Far East. Rangos returned to civilian life with military honors that include the National Defense Medal, United Nations Medal, Korean Campaign Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation from President Truman and President Sigmund Ree of South Korea.
Mr. Rangos began his career with the Rockwell Manufacturing Company, where he earned the distinction of becoming the youngest general agent in company history. During the 1960’s, he formed several companies and pioneered technological advances in the field of waste transportation and disposal. The first company he founded – Chambers Development, Inc. – went public and merged with USA Waste, the second largest waste management company in the nation. USA Waste Services later merged with Waste Management Inc., the number 1 trash hauler in the country. His many innovative achievements include converting power plant boiler-ash into a useful component of cinder blocks and anti-skid material for highways. He was also instrumental in inventing techniques for recycling bituminous byproducts and disposing of sewage and sludge. He developed techniques for liquid industrial waste disposal and created a resource recovery system that converts waste-generated methane into energy. He and his sons advocated the spoke and axle high-tech concept in implementing regional sanitary sites that resolved many environmental concerns.
Interested and Involved
Highly patriotic at a young age, Mr. Rangos has always been interested in government at all levels. He believes citizens should participate to the best of their ability. After all, voting, supporting programs and actively campaigning are what makes America a democracy. Rangos’ support and involvement in the political arena has led to lifelong friendships, regardless of political affiliation or views. Rangos has always had a mind for political strategy. Throughout the years, he has assisted his preferred candidates and friends with advice and support. He supported John F. Kennedy in his 1960 bid for the Presidency, working for the campaign in PA, MD and WV and serving as an advisor. For nearly 15 years, he was an advisor to his close friend, PA Senator Hugh Scott, who was a member of the Senate from 1958 through 1977. Hugh Scott served on the board of directors of Mr. Rangos’ public company until 1994. He also served as an advisor to David Lawrence, who held office as Pittsburgh mayor from 1946 – 1959 and PA governor from 1959 – 1963.
John G. Rangos, Sr. has three children: John G. Jr., Alexander William and Jenica Anne, as well as three grandchildren. He currently heads the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation and is the former president and founder of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Through his charitable foundation, he has funded the Omnimax Theatre at the Carnegie Science Center, the Rangos Research Center at Children’s Hospital, the Rangos-Trucco Diabetes Laboratory at Children’s Hospital, the Rangos School of Health and Sciences at Duquesne University, the Rangos Hall at Carnegie Mellon University, the Rangos Family Foundation Building at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and the John G. Rangos Sr. Building in the new Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Rangos was a delegate at the 1976 Democratic Convention and served as a delegate to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. In this position, he advised the American teams not to travel to Russia for the games as a way of voicing American unhappiness with Communism. Dedicated to the Orthodox Church, he has achieved the title of Archon, the highest level of honor. In addition to these works, Mr. Rangos is the founder and former chairman for the International Orthodox Christian Charities and was the Fundraising Chairman for UNICEF. He sits on many boards, including:
- The Leukemia Society
- Carnegie Mellon University, lifetime member
- Carnegie Science Center
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
In the past, he was a board member of:
- Duquesne University
- The Allegheny Conference
- The University of Pittsburgh
- The Pittsburgh Opera
- The Boy Scouts of America
- The Presentation of Christ Archdiocese of the US
- The Clergy Liturgy Council
- Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
A highly involved citizen, Mr. Rangos is a member of the Duquesne Club, The Rivers Club, the Masons (32nd degree), the Shriners (Syria) and the exclusive Boca Raton Club. Mr. Rangos enjoys playing racquetball, golf, tennis and collecting art.
Visit the Rangos Foundation website to view an interactive timeline portraying highlights of Mr. Rangos’ biography.