Martha Stewart's Greek Heritage


Published in The National Herald, April 15, 2006 Issue
Authored by Liana Sideri
Special to the National Herald


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Domestic maven Martha Stewart, who introduced Senator Olympia J. Snow during Spiros & Antonia Milonas' fundraising event on the Senator's behalf at Manhattan's Olympic Towers this past Monday, surprised the audience by disclosing she is of Greek heritage.

Mrs. Stewart's maiden name is Kostyras, and her father's family traces its roots back to the island of Cos in the Dodecanese. She said she has been to Cos and expressed her fondness for the island: “On my father's side, a long time ago, I found out that I'm Greek, from the beautiful island of Cos. The family ultimately ended up in Poland. I have been to the island of Cos, and I saw the legendary sycamore tree under which Hippocrates is said to have authored his famous Hippocratic oath,” she said, informing the audience that she has grown three of these trees by procuring seeds from the Hippocrates Tree in Cos and bringing them to the United States.

Off the beaten path, Mrs. Stewart also discussed Senator Snowe's contributions to the state of Maine, acknowledging their impact on her own life as a homeowner in that state.

“I happen to own a wonderful spot up in Maine, and I cherish that state, its wilderness and its beauty very much,” she said. “As a result, and despite the fact that we are very busy down here in New York, I try to pay attention to what's going on in that faraway place.”

“I've come to know that Senator Olympia Snowe has been taking very good care of Maine. The people who work for my property up there adore her, and appreciate her work for the preservation of what is dear to us. Aside from Maine's natural beauty, which has been protected, there are many other things, like the way people think and the way they deal with issues more effectively than New Yorkers would when faced with similar problems,” she said.

Proposing to make Mrs. Stewart an “honorary Hellene,” Senator Snowe commented on the domestic diva's unparalleled ability to see beauty in ways that very few people can, and told the audience about her superbly and carefully restored house on the Maine coastline, as well as the “wonderful moments” the two women have shared together with the Milonas couple, who cruise along the coast of Maine on their yacht, the Zantino III, every summer.

The Senator also noted Mrs. Stewart's efforts to promote the state of Maine, its people and its products on many occasions, conveying Maine's appreciation to Mrs. Stewart, and to all those who genuinely care about their state.

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