Monday, August 23, 2010

The Detroit News Says Former Flintoid Tom Gores Is Considering Purchasing the Detroit Pistons

The Detroit News is reporting that billionaire Flint native Tom Gores is the leading candidate to purchase the Detroit Pistons.

Gores was profiled by the San Diego Reader last year after he purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune. The article devotes a lot of ink to Tom Joubran, the man who was instrumental in bringing Gores to Flint and mentored him as he grew up in the Vehicle City.

Matt Potter reports:

In a March 19 story announcing its takeover by Platinum Equity, the Union-Tribune reported that Gores had “immigrated to America with his Greek family when he was 5 and eventually became a U.S. citizen.” But there is more to the story of Tom Gores and his large, extended family.

He was mentored through childhood, adolescence, and college by Tom Joubran, who became a grocer after arriving in this country and battled years of ethnic bias and criminal charges that he attributes to jealousy and discrimination because he came from the Middle East.

It was Joubran who sponsored the 1969 immigration of the Gores family, including his sister Marie, from Nazareth to Flint, where many members of the Joubran family live.

“I’m so glad I brought them in here,” Joubran said last week. “I provided them a house to live. They worked for me, and I paid them money.”

Tom Gores “was the carry-out boy in my grocery store and was in the produce department,” Joubran told the Flint Journal in 2007. “The apron he wore was bigger than him. He was very small for his age.… But look at him today. I’m so proud of him and all of his brothers and sisters. They were all dynamic kids. I knew they were going to be something from the day they came in.”

Dan Shriner, a former reporter for the Flint Journal, recalls that photos of the Gores brothers lined the walls of Joubran’s office, including one of Tom’s older brother Alec standing with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Joubran spoke with pride of how he had mentored the brothers in the promised land of America.

“I do know that he’s extremely proud of them,” says Shriner. “They’re in touch often. They really stay in touch. I don’t know about what, but they are in touch with great regularity.”

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