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Sotirios "Sam" Panopoulos (Greek: Σωτήριος Πανοπούλος; 1934 – 8 June 2017) was a Greek-born Canadian cook and businessman, credited as the inventor of Hawaiian pizza.

Sam Panopoulos
Pizza with pineapple.jpg
Hawaiian pizza, Panopoulos's invention
Born Sotirios Panopoulos
Vourvoura, Greece
Died 8 June 2017 (aged 83)
London, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Chef and businessman
Known for Creator of Hawaiian pizza
Spouse(s) Christina Panopoulos (m. 1967; his death 2017)
Children 2


Early lifeEdit

Sotirios Panopoulos was born in Vourvoura, Greece in 1934.[1] He emigrated to Canada in 1954, aged 20, arriving in Halifax.[2][1]


Panopoulos settled in Sudbury, and then Elliot Lake, Ontario, where he found work in the mines.[1]

After sampling pizza in Naples, Panopoulos first tried pizza in North America when he visited Windsor, Ontario.[1]

With his brothers Elias and Nikitas, Panopoulos owned the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. They offered typical American items such as burgers and fries, and also American Chinese dishes, some of which also mix sweet and savoury flavours. In the early 1960s Panopoulos started offering pizzas, recently popular in the US.[3] In 1962 he had the idea to add canned pineapple to pizza.[2][4] This innovation (sometimes disputed) became popular with his customers, yet over time has also earned the disdain of pizza puritans.[1][5]

After Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, said that pineapple had no place on pizza, and should be banned, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation."[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Panopoulos and his wife Christina were married for 50 years.[4] They had a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren.[1]

Panopoulos sold the Satellite Restaurant in 1980, and lived in London, Ontario for the rest of his life; he worked as a restaurateur there as well.[6]

He died unexpectedly at University Hospital in London, Ontario on 8 June 2017.[2][4] He was 83.