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Jerry Delakas, 73, longtime Astor Place newsstand vendor

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Jerry Delakas, a beloved fixture for decades at the Astor Place newsstand, died in August at age 73.

His nephew Angelo Delakas, who currently operates the kiosk — which is sandwiched between Starbucks and the Downtown subway entrance –said Jerry died at home on the Upper West Side. The cause of death was lung and heart disease. Jerry was a heavy, two-pack-a-day-or-more smoker for most of his life.

“He quit smoking the last four years,” Angelo said. “It wasn’t early enough. The last year, he struggled with breathing.”

Jerry Delakas during a rally nearly 10 years ago to save his newsstand, which the city had recently padlocked. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Jerry Delakas operated the Astor newsstand for more than 30 years, from the late 1980s until five years ago. Back in 2013, though, he almost lost the coveted location in a struggle with the city. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection argued that Delakas did not hold a proper license for the stand, and abruptly padlocked it in November 2013.

But the community rallied to Jerry’s support. A week before the kiosk was shuttered, more than 100 people, including Reverend Billy, gathered there to show their support. Village attorney Arthur Schwartz represented Jerry pro bono, helping him hold onto the high-traffic vending spot.

Jerry loved working in the East Village and talking with customers and they loved him in return.

“He lived to serve the community,” Angelo said.

With the community’s support, the veteran vendor was able to hold onto his longtime location. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

Jerry Delakas was born on Kefalonia, the largest of the Greek Ionian Islands. Before he worked at the East Village newsstand, he manned other ones at different spots around Manhattan.

Angelo showed The Village Sun a photo on his cell phone of Jerry at a newsstand in younger days, sporting a shock of thick black hair swept diagonally across his forehead, contrasted by a white cigarette dangling rakishly from the side of his mouth.

Jerry was one of four brothers. Ari, the only surviving brother, and Jerry used to work together. Ari and Angelo currently hold the franchise for the Astor Place newsstand.

A private funeral was held for friends and family. Burial was at Rose Hill Cemetery in New Jersey.


  1. David Mulkins David Mulkins April 12, 2023

    Jerry was as iconic to Astor Place as the cube.
    A handsome, friendly guy that gave a human touch to that otherwise fiercely busy square.
    We miss you, Jerry!

  2. Carol from East 5th Street Carol from East 5th Street April 11, 2023

    I remember him well. Always a nod and a slight smile every day when I bought my paper. A true part of East Village history.

  3. Dal Dal April 11, 2023

    RIP, Jerry. A piece of the East Village is leaving with you 😢

  4. Patricia Melvin Patricia Melvin April 11, 2023

    R.I.P. Jerry.

  5. Trigger Trigger April 11, 2023

    RIP JERRY ♥️
    It was always nice to see you every day.

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