George Manis

George N. Manis, founder of the Annapolis law firm of Manis, Canning & Associates, died Wednesday of heart failure at the Fairfield Nursing Center in Crownsville. He was 85.

The son of Nick Manis and Harriet Manis, Greek immigrants, George Nick Manis was born and raised in Annapolis. His father owned The Presto restaurant in Annapolis.


Mr. Manis attended Manlius Prep School in DeWitt, N.Y., and Annapolis High School, where he was a star basketball player and was named to the All State national tournament team.

After graduating from high school, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1953 from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he played point guard on the basketball team.

He served in the Air Force from 1954 to 1956, where he was stationed in England and attained the rank of lieutenant.

After leaving the Air Force, he returned to Annapolis and went to work for Western Electric Corp. as a quality-control representative in Maryland.

While working at Western Electric, he studied at night at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he earned his degree in the late 1960s.

He served as an assistant state's attorney for several years before becoming a founding partner of Turk, Manis & Duckett, which later became Manis, Wilkinson & Snider, et al. in the late 1970s.

Mr. Manis, who maintained a general law practice, took his first lobbying client, the Motion Picture Association of America Inc., in 1974.

He continued lobbying on his own until 1991 when he co-founded the firm of Manis, Canning & Associates, where he continued working until his death.

Mr. Manis enjoyed traveling, playing golf and attending his grandchildren's athletic events.

"He had five grandchildren, and he attended all of the athletic events from Little League through college, filming their games. He very rarely missed a game," said his daughter, Harriet M. Adam of Severna Park.

"His devotion and loyalty to his family and friends was unmatched, and those who were lucky enough to have known him considered him a true gentleman," his daughter said.

His wife of 60 years, the former Anastasia Characklis, died this year.

Mr. Manis was a member of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 2747 Riva Road, Annapolis, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.

In addition to his daughter and five grandchildren, Mr. Manis is survived by a son, Nicholas G. Manis of Annapolis.