John S. Manos, 84, of Logan Square, a lawyer and an activist in the Greek community in Philadelphia, died of a heart attack Tuesday at Pennsylvania Hospital.

As a lawyer for more than 55 years, Mr. Manos helped many Greek immigrants receive legal status and citizenship and establish successful businesses, his family said.

He and his future wife, Elizabeth Nicholas, met when she retained his legal services to bring her Greek family, living in Brazil, to the United States.

Mr. Manos was a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and taught immigration law at the Temple University School of Law.

A lifelong member of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral near Washington Square, he was the cathedral's counsel for 40 years and was involved in the construction of two cathedral-sponsored senior housing developments.

He was active with several Greek organizations and a past chairman of the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Celebration. In 1963, he received the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix from the king of Greece for initiating a drive that raised more than $1 million for road-building machinery for the Greek province of Laconia.

Mr. Manos' parents emigrated from Laconia and settled in Camden, where he grew up. He graduated from Camden High School. During World War II, he served in the Army in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

For 10 years, he practiced in his uncle Gregory Lagakos' law office in Philadelphia before establishing a solo practice in 1963.

Besides his work with immigrants, he handled a variety of criminal and civil cases. In the early 1970s, he successfully argued a landmark case, St. Michael the Archangel v. Uniat, before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The justices ruled that churches cannot be separated from their hierarchy or archdiocese merely by a majority vote of parishioners.

Mr. Manos was a past chairman of the Philadelphia Board of License and Review, served on the board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews for more than 20 years, and was a founder and past president of the American Hellenic Lawyers Association. He received a citizenship award from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

In addition to his wife of 38 years, Mr. Manos is survived by daughters Evangelia Stavroula and Pauline, a brother, and a sister.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke, 35 N. Malin Rd., Broomall, where friends may call after 10. Burial will be in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia for the John S. Manos Memorial Scholarship, Box 42199, Philadelphia 19101.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.