Michael Tositsas is one of the Great Benefactors of Greece. He was born in Metsovo in 1787, and in 1806 he took over his father’s fur shop in Thessaloniki, together with his brothers. After developing his business significantly, he sent his brothers to Egypt to open a branch there while he opened branches in Livorno and Malta.
In 1820 he moved to Malta himself. His acquaintance with Egypt’s Prince Regent Mohammed Ali resulted in the Prince taking high esteem in him and appointing him his personal advisor as well as at the helm of the first state bank, the head of the Nile Riverboat company and administrator of his land.
Tositsas, who became one of Egypt’s most powerful landowners, also served as Greece’s first General Consul in Alexandria and is generally regarded as the father of Hellenism of Egypt. He contributed to the establishment of the Greek Community and, together with his brothers, he helped the community develop significant educational and religious infrastructure. In 1854 he moved to Athens where he died in 1856. His charitable work was not limited to Alexandria but was equally important in Athens, Thessaloniki and his birthplace Metsovo. In his will he left vast amounts for aid for the poor and the support of hospitals, churches and schools. Among them the most notable ones are his contributions to the University of Athens, the Arsakio School and the National Technical University of Athens. After his death, his wife Eleni continued his charity work by donating large amounts to educational and charity organizations as well as for the construction and completion of the National Technical University of Athens. His younger brother, Theodore, who also became very wealthy in Egypt, returned to Greece after the liberation from the Ottomans and donated the largest part of his wealth to foundations.