Emmanuel Benakis was a Greek merchant, national benefactor and Mayor of the city of Athens.
Benakis was born in 1843 on the island of Syros in the Cyclades. In 1866, he emigrated to Alexandria, Egypt, where he accumulated great wealth and was very influential in the local Greek community.
In 1910 he was elected to the Hellenic Parliament as a Venizelist and served as Minister of Agriculture and Industry. In 1914 he was elected Mayor of Athens. After Eleftherios Venizelos lost the elections of 1920, Benakis fled to Paris. He returned in 1924 and made great donations for many works including the Red Cross Nurses' School and Athens College.
He died on June 20, 1929 and was buried at public expense.
Benakis was the father of writer Penelope Delta and art collector Antonis Benakis.