Born 1885 on Poros, Alexandros Koryzis came from a background of privilege. Both his grandfather and his father were politicians; his father was elected to Parliament three times and served as Poros mayor from 1895 to 1899.
Koryzis studied law and in 1903, at the age of eighteen, went to work for the National Bank of Greece, of which he became deputy governor in 1928. A year later, in 1929, he founded the Agricultural Bank of Greece and served as its first president. When General Ioannis Metaxas seized power in 1936, he appointed Koryzis to the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Metaxas’s unexpected death on January 29,1941, caused his dictatorship’s collapse and King George moved to fill the void by appointing Koryzis Prime Minister.
On April 6, Koryzis rejected a German demand to expel all British forces from Greece, effectively triggering the German invasion. In less than ten days, Nazi forces were occupying most of the country.
On April 18, 1941, with German troops advancing, Koryzis was summoned to a meeting at the Grande Bretagne Hotel which he had a private meeting with the king.
A few hours later he was found dead in his home, having shot himself through the heart.
Today Koryzis’s family home houses the Archaeological Museum of Poros.