Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
KEVORK S. HOVNANIAN: His Vision and Journey Toward Success
K. Hovnanian Enterprises

KEVORK S. HOVNANIAN: His Vision and Journey Toward Success

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By Mukul Pandya

This biography traces Kevork Hovnanian's life from its beginning in Baghdad, Iraq, after his parents, Stephan and Yester Hovnanian, moved there after the Armenian genocide of 1915. It describes his early years in business in Iraq, and his formation in the 1950s of Dijla-Saraji, a company that became Iraq's largest local road builder. Kevork Hovnanian's life took a dramatic turn, however, when he and his family were forced to leave Iraq following the 1958 overthrow of the Hashemite Monarchy. After arriving in the United States in 1959, Kevork Hovnanian teamed up with his brothers Jirair, Hirair, and Vahak to launch a homebuilding business in New Jersey. After working together during the 1960s, the brothers decided to form separate companies towards the end of the decade. Hovnanian Enterprises continued its tumultuous journey through good and bad times in the 1970s, when it entered new markets such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia. Hovnanian Enterprises went public in 1983 which positioned the company for rapid growth during the real-estate boom that marked most of that decade. 

K. Hovnanian Enterprises (2001, First Edition)