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John Marakas


John Marakas 

It’s easy to see a philosophy of active change working in John Marakas’s life. From humble beginnings to President of Nationwide Life Insurance for 20 years, John has always believed that hard work and dedication make a difference.

Originally from western Pennsylvania, John had an early interest in the field of math. In high school, his teacher recognized his skills and recommended that he pursue Actuarial Science, a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries.

It was a tough, unique field, but John was determined to succeed. At that time, it was only offered at two schools in the country, both of which were in the Big Ten. John chose “The School Up North” and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1949.

After graduation, John worked in Washington DC, Chicago, and Dallas. In 1971, he moved to Columbus to become a Vice President of Nationwide Corporation. One year later, he was elected President of Nationwide Corporation, where he remained until his mandatory retirement in 1991 at the age of 65.

After moving to Columbus in the early 70s, John and his family started seeing Marilyn Huheey, MD, an OSU ophthalmology alumnus. When he was diagnosed with glaucoma, a complex eye condition, Dr. Huheey referred him to Paul Weber, MD, a glaucoma specialist.

John was immediately struck by Dr. Weber’s kind and thorough care. He wanted to help continue Dr. Weber’s work, so he made a donation to support Dr. Weber’s fellowship program.

The Weber Fellowship fund supports young physicians who want to specialize in caring for patients with glaucoma. This will ensure that the compassionate and knowledgeable methods that Dr. Weber has perfected will be shared with the next generation.

“With his donation, John wanted to provide the latest and best care for thousands of future patients with glaucoma,” said Dr. Weber. “It’s the story of his life; he wanted to see a change, so he made one.”