GERARD CAFESJIAN, businessman and philanthropist

GERARD CAFESJIAN, businessman and philanthropist

Gerard Cafesjian was an Armenian-American who became a successful publishing executive. After his years in business he turned his attention to philanthropy, focusing on Armenia.


Cafesjian was the child of survivors of the Armenian Genocide who came to the United States. He was born on April 26, 1925, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City.

Claim to fame 

Although he achieved significant business success as an executive at West Publishing, Cafesjian is most remembered for his philanthropy. He was the founder of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Armenia – a museum and exhibition space for contemporary art in the country’s capital, Yerevan. He was also the lead benefactor of the Armenian Genocide Museum in Washington, DC. There is also a 100 year-old carousel at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds which bears his name in appreciation of his efforts to save it from closing.

What others said

“Gerard Cafesjian sincerely and unselfishly aspired to be useful for his motherland and will remain in history as one of the most remarkable Armenian philanthropists.” - Ruben Vardanyan

Noteworthy work

Cafesjian Center for the Arts