The Hockey Hall of Fame will induct Detroit-native Peter Karmanos Jr. in its November 9th installation ceremony. Karmanos, who credits his love for the sport to his mother, has been involved in hockey for more than four decades.
As a businessman, he founded Compuware Corporation, a company that became one of the biggest in the world, but he quickly applied his success in the board room to his passion on the ice.
He co-founded the Compuware youth program in the 1970s that has produced 16 national championships, 34 state championships, more than 200 NCAA Division I scholarship players and 14 NHL first-round draft picks.
He is also the majority owner and chief executive officer of the National Hockey Leagues Carolina Hurricanes, which won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Karmanos explained his passion for the sport and how it began with his mother, who had just returned from living in Greece.
“She came back (to Detroit after living in Greece) right at the start of the Depression in 1930, went to Central High School. She was a field hockey player, and she turned out to be a classic bowler as well. She was a pretty good athlete. I had stumbled downstairs one time back in the early ’50s. There was this game on TV that my mother was watching on an 11-inch round Zenith TV set. Quite sure it wasn’t HD back then. Just happened to be the Detroit Red Wings playing the Montreal Canadiens at Olympia. And right as I started watching the game, Ted Lindsay got into a fight with Maurice Richard, and I thought, ‘This is really cool.’ I just watched the game and was fascinated by it.”
Karmanos and his wife Danialle are also noted for their massive philanthropy in the Detroit area and beyond, reaching beyond the hockey rink especially through his founding and continued support of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a center of research, patient care and education that he founded in memory of his first wife.