Born February 24, 1937, in the slums of the refugee settlement of Anastasis, Tambouria, near Piraeus, Greece, Captain K. I. Selinidis spent his childhood in poverty living in a two-room house with his parents, two brothers, and three sisters. He went on to graduate from the Greek High School of Piraeus, but when his dream to attend the University of Athens became financially impossible, he turned to a seagoing career with the Greek Merchant Marine.
He immigrated to Port Arthur, Texas, United States of America, in 1963; and after becoming a citizen in 1966, he resumed his maritime career with the American Merchant Marine. Propelled by his ambition, nautical knowledge, experience, and thirst for success, he quickly advanced through the ranks and in 1971 received his master’s license qualifying him to be master of any American ship of any size upon oceans. He applied for a position as a state marine pilot with the Sabine Pilots Association and was accepted July 1, 1973.
Capt. K. I. (Kosta) Selinidis, by 1980, was the president of the Sabine Pilots, handling the administrative duties of the association and piloting some of the largest ships in the world in and out of the Sabine−Neches Waterway. At the same time, he attended classes in real estate at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas; he conceived the design and built the Bellaire Place Townhomes in Port Arthur.
Capt. K. I. (Kosta) Selinidis became candidate for a position with the Board of Trustees of the Port Arthur Independent School District and won the election in May of 1988. He became the president of the school board in 1991 and did not seek reelection in 1994 because his duties as the president of the Sabine Pilots required most of his time. He retired from the Sabine Pilots on June 30, 2004, exactly thirty-one years after he was hired, but not before he had piloted more than six thousand six hundred large ships in and out of the Sabine ports.
Today, Capt. K. I. (Kosta) Selinidis and his wife of forty-five years live near Lake Conroe in Del Lago Estates of Montgomery County. They are proud of their four children all college graduates and all married
Anna: MBA and CPA, Chief Financial Officer of the Texas children’s Health Plan, in Houston
Yianis: Naval Academy graduate, Annapolis, Maryland, class of ’91. He is an associate with EnviroPro.Co. specializing in emission control and efficiency of petrochemicals.
Kosta Shawn: Master of Chemical Engineering, lives and works in Austin, Texas engaged in nanotechology
Stephan: Attorney, practicing law in Houston, Texas
Kosta and Dee’s true happiness, however, comes from watching their grandchildren: Mitchell, Macie, Malyn, Gabriel, Elliot, Kate -- and those yet to come — grow healthy and happy.
THE SON OF REFUGEES, THE IMMIGRANT TO THE UNITED STATES has truly met the challenge, achieved his goal, and realized the AMERICAN DREAM at its best.