John J. Rigas (born November 14, 1924 in Wellsville, New York) was one of the founders of Adelphia Communications Corporation, which at its peak was one of the largest cable companies in the United States. He was also the majority owner of the Buffalo Sabres franchise of the National Hockey League. He was convicted for multiple accounts of fraud and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Born in Wellsville, New York, to Greek immigrants James and Eleni Rigas who sought a better life in the U.S. for their children, John had three siblings: Gus, Mary and Katherine. His first job was, at the age of nine, busing tables. After graduating from Wellsville High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was placed in an armored infantry division in 1943 and he saw combat in France.
After the war ended, he returned to life in Wellsville and soon afterward enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He studied engineering and earned a bachelor of science degree in management engineering. He then returned to Wellsville, only to take a job with the Sylvania corporation in Emporium, Pennsylvania.