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Big Thoughts are Free

The Authorized Biography of Milan Panic

Mark Axelrod

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Chapter 6. Family Life and Times of Milan Panić


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The word “struggle” as a noun or a verb has a very interesting etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) states, “According to Skeat the root is that of Old Norse strúg-r, Middle Swedish strūgh-er, ill will, Swedish dialect strug, contention, strife, reluctance, struug, revengeful, Norwegian stru, refractory, Danish dialect struende, reluctantly.” As the OED uses it, it means “to contend resolutely, esp. with an adversary of superior power; to offer obstinate resistance; to make violent efforts to escape from constraint” ( Perhaps there is no better word to use in relation to Milan Panić’s life than the word “struggle,” since his life has been a struggle since childhood and the struggle continued through his multiple successes in business.

Panić never thought he’d be struggling, but one could say the struggle to begin a company was superseded by family struggles, since as fortunate and successful as Panić was in his business dealings, that didn’t necessarily translate to his family life, and the struggle with his domestic tragedies began with his first wife, Jelica, whom he married on June 12, 1955, and who began suffering from extreme bouts of depression as early as 1973. Panić recalled, “There were very minimal treatments for the disease she had and it came to a point at which her judgment was so wrong, especially in relation to feelings ← 67 | 68 → for her children and her...

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