WARREN - Frank Manios made his name in the pharmacy trade long before there was a CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens on many streetcorners.
Now the 78-year-old Warren pharmacist is the only independent drug store owner-operator in the city. There are still a few others dotting the Trumbull County map, but not many.
''It probably speaks to the quality of life we have now. So many new drugs have been developed since I started out. People are living longer. The volume of prescriptions has probably tripled in the last 10 years,'' said Manios, sitting at his work station in his Youngstown Road S.E. Franklin Pharmacy and Health Care Inc., surrounded by autographed books, Pittsburgh Steelers collectibles, photos and other memorabilia.
Warren pharmacist Frank Manios is the only independent drug store owner-operator in the city.
''I saw this coming a long time ago. That's why we branched out in 1979 to offer other health care products, hospital equipment and fittings,'' said Manios, who even hired a nurse on staff to help break ground in the new field of business.
As a business owner, Manios committed himself to the Warren area long ago, remaining on the same street corner, even moving across the road after building a new enlarged headquarters for his operation. With the expansion, Manios remained committed to the neighborhood he started in.
But his commitment to Warren does not stop with his business.
ADDRESS: 708 Wildwood Drive N.E., Warren
YEARS LIVING HERE: Since 1941
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES / MEMBERSHIPS: Trumbull 100 Elite Leadership; Two-year president, Trumbull County Pharmacist Association; six years as elected director of Ohio State Pharmacist Association; Ohio State Centennial Pharmacist of the Year (1978); Independent Superstar of Drug Topics Trade Journal in 1988 and 1990; Professional Recognition Awards from Eli Lilly, Abbot Labs, E.R. Squibb and Parke Davis; trustee, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library Board; elected member, Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame of Warren G. Harding High School; Distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award in 2008; Supreme President of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association); parish council of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church; Proclaimed Archon of Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, invested into the Order of St. Andrew by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, May of 2005 in Istanbul, Turkey; major sponsor of former ice skating rink in Courthouse Square, Goddess of Speed project and Summer Concert Series at Warren's Amphitheatre; Board of Advisors, Warren Salvation Army; American Legion.
Manios, who worked at Thrift Drug Co. in downtown Warren as a high school student, never forgets the athletes, politicians and even the ''little people'' he has crossed paths with.
"He's a big booster for the schools, always buying season tickets,'' said son Lee, who now runs Franklin Health Care Inc. on East Market Street. ''My father is just extremely dedicated to his family, his church, his origin and his community.''
A testament to his city-wide contributions is the Goddess of Speed sculpture that sits inside Lee's business. The sculpture, a past fundraiser for National Packard Museum and other local beneficiaries, was sponsored by Manios and created by local artist Lee Roby, the son of Cal Roby, a pharmacist and long-time friend.
Manios' son, Lee, who nominated his father for a Community Star award, described his father as not being afraid to share ''his professional gifts by supporting numerous charities.''
That includes serving on the board of advisers for the Warren Salvation Army and the American Legion. He also serves on the Trumbull 100 Elite Leadership, and serves on numerous pharmaceutical boards and affiliations. Manios also is committed to his church and a Hellenic organization.
Both Mike Manios and Lee Manios say the pharmacist they know and love has always helped out others, whether it's through the long list of organizations he joins or leads, or through his business.
It's not unusual for Manios to extend a helping hand to customers some of whom have been regular clients for years and some of whom have even established a no interest tab of sorts with the pharmacy.
''Frank just has a way of putting his personal touch on everything,'' his brother says.
That includes his love and support for Warren.
Speaking about the city, Frank Manios said, ''It's the kind of place where you know your doctor, your barber, or all the school board members.''
And if anybody from outside the Warren area knows Warren, it might be because of Manios and his dedication to promoting the city he loves so much.
''He's probably the best ambassador Warren has,'' said Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos, who knows Manios through the church and the AHEPA Greek organization they both support. ''Frank has brushed elbows with presidents and he travels quite a bit. Where ever he goes, he hypes Warren and the athletes or businessmen who have roots here.''
''I don't care if we're in St. Louis or Chicago, if the name DeBartolo or Browner comes up, there Frank filling you in on all the details and where these people come from. He's got a fantastic memory,'' said Mike Manios, Frank's younger brother.
The two Manios brothers remember growing up in Weirton, W.Va., and accompanying their mother to American citizenship classes, trading facts between them in English and Greek.
Before Manios was 10 the family moved to Warren where his father took a job at Copperweld Steel. By then, it was the Manios boys who were attending ''Greek School'' in the former Turner Junior High at the corner of Monroe and Harmon Streets.
Manios enlisted in the Marines and served in the Mediterranean region before earning his degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1957 and meeting the former Mary Mitaras, who would become his wife in 1959.
When they met in Pittsburgh, the new Mrs. Manios was working for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The couple has the distinction of sitting in Forbes Field when Bill Mazeroski hit the game-winning home run in game seven to beat the Yankees and win the World Series in 1960.
The couple has been to several Super Bowls - a far cry from when Manios used to play stick ball on Clinton Street S.E. with Bill White, who would go on to become the second-ever black player in the Carolina League, the first black to do play-by-play radio calls for a professional sports team and later the first high-ranking black official in a major sport when he was named president of the National League in 1989.
Besides his son Lee, Manios and his wife also have two daughters Irene Buccino, also a pharmacist, and Juanita Stroup, along with three grandchildren.