TED KIAPOS

Ted Kiapos was born April 17, 1925 in downtown Los Angeles. His parents, John H. Kiapos and Magdaline Kiapos, immigrated from Greece in 1900 and 1920, respectively. Ted's father, a true American entrepreneur, founded the Omega Shoe Polish Company in 1912, which was a higly respected national brand for over seven decades, OmegaShoePolish.com.

Ted attended high school at George Washington High School, where he played football and was selected first-string All Southern League. Ted volunteered for military service in 1942 at the age of seventeen, joining the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific theater in WWII as a Pharmacist Mate, First Class. After an honorable discharge, Ted attended college at Pepperdine University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy. Ted also played first string for the Pepperdine Waves championship football team during the era when players wore leather helmets without face masks. Their team played both ways, defense and offense. They were National Small College Champions, and notably the highest scoring, least scored upon team in the nation from 1946 - 1949. Ted was the team captain and was voted the "Most Inspirational Player." Ted was also selected to play as a first-stringer in the first Hula Bowl in 1946. Ted was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1952, but chose to pursue a business career instead. In 1989, Ted was inducted into the Pepperdine University Hall of Fame.

After attenting college, Ted went to work for his father at the Omega Shoe Polish Company, and in 1952, became president upon his father's retirement. During 1952, Ted met Aspasia Mayakis and they were married later that year. The following year their son, John, was born. In 1954, their daughter, Theodora, was born. And in 1957, their second son, George, was born.

Ted was a true innovator as a businessman. In the leather dressings field, Ted developed the first aerosol line of leather sprays, Dy-Nylon, and in 1957, he partnered with Charlie Tandy, founder of the Tandy Corporation, where they formed Omega Chemical Company of Fort Worth, Texas, providing Tandy Leathercraft Stores with leather dyes, finishes, creams, and other leathercrafting solutions. Ted also authored the book, "Hi-Lighter", A Complete Instruction Guide on the Fundamentals of Dyeing & Finishing Hand Carved and Tooled Leathers, in 1957.

In the early 1960s, Ted developed Color Cosmetic, which became a national fad for women to recolor their shoes, belts, handbags and other accessories, to match. Ted developed Omega industrial leather care products, supplying manufacturers of shoes, boots/cowboy boots, leather apparel, luggage and handbags throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Ted went on to found Living Leather of California, manufacturing leather accessories and gift items for national chain stores, including, Sears, J.C. Penney's, Thom McAn, Leeds, K-Mart, to name just a few. Ted was also successful in private labelling Omega products for national retailers.

Ted, always an athlete, was an avid four-wall handball player for more than three decades.

Ted has been a dedicated husband and father, and enjoys his retirement with his wife and family in Los Angeles.

Ted and Aspasia have just celebrated their sixty-third wedding anniverary in 2015.



John H. Kiapos, Ted Kiapos, Magdaline Kiapos, and Bill Kiapos, 1927


John H. Kiapos and Ted Kiapos, 1927


Ted Kiapos, inlisted U.S. Navy/WWII, 1942


Ted Kiapos, on the cover of Pepperdine's March Madness, photo from 1947


Aspasia Kiapos, 1946


Ted Kiapos and Aspasia Kiapos on their wedding day, 1952


Ted Kiapos, Aspasia Kiapos, George Kiapos, Theodora Kiapos, and John Kiapos, 1974


Ted Kiapos, 1992


Aspasia Kiapos, 1993


Ted Kiapos and John Kiapos, fishing in Loretto, Baja, Mexico, 1994


Ted Kiapos and Aspasia Kiapos, 1995


Ted Kiapos (center left), celebrating his 90th birthday with son, John Kiapos (center right),
lifelong friend and high school and college teammate, Keith Kenworthy (far right),
and wife, Biruta (far left), 2015



Ted Kiapos after breakfast, 2015

Video: Pepperdine University Luncheon, honoring Ted Kiapos, 2007

CIF FOOTBALL STATS - 1942

Pepperdine Football STATS - 1949

Ted Kiapos - Inducted in the Pepperdine Hall of Fame

Ted Recalls


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