9/11 Stories: American Idol's Constantine Maroulis


Constantine Maroulis had 25 million people watching him for months on the 4th season of “American Idol” in 2004, where he finished 4th. What America didn’t know, something Maroulis shielded from his personal story, was that during the terrorist attack September 11th, 2001, he lost his oldest first cousin, also named Constantine. Gus (as he was nicknamed) Economos was a 41 year old married father of 2 who had just been named partner of the banking investment firm Sandler O’Neill.

He On 9/11, then 26 year old Constantine Maroulis was a student at the prestigious Boston Conservancy at The Berklee College Of Music. For days after September 11th, Constantine and his family held out hope that Gus was still alive, that he somehow escaped the tower before it collapsed, that he was just missing. With the rest of his family back home in Wycoff, New Jersey, Constantine felt trapped and alone in Boston, the only person in his Boston circle to lose someone close on September 11th.

Already a successful off-Broadway actor, after starring in “Hedwig And The Angry Inch” in New York before returning to school in Boston, Maroulis began questioning his career choice, wondering, “What am I doing here? How can I contribute anything doing this, as the world was changing forever?" Constantine says he barely got through that year at the Boston Conservancy. It was not until he was convinced to compete on “American Idol,” 3 years later, that he realized entertaining people helps people heal. It did just that for his own immediate family. one of the firm’s 66 employees to die on September 11th.


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