Eddi Zyko


An American General cites his family roots and his brave parents as the source of inspiration behind his outstanding military success. 

Eddi Zyber Zyko was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on June 15, 1941, but his story began much earlier, with the birth of his father, Zyber Ismail Zyko, in the village of Ceta, Korçë, Albania, in 1900. Ceta was the Zyko family’s ancestral home. Over several generations, the family established a fulfilling lifestyle as farmers, shepherds, hunters, and woodsmen, but it was always his father’s dream to make it to America. Growing up, Zyko’s father had heard grand stories from his own father, Ismail, who had worked in America in the early 1900s. In 1920, Zyber made his dreams come true and immigrated to the United States, arriving at Ellis Island with little money but a lot of fortitude. After working hard and saving enough money, he traveled back to his hometown of Ceta in 1932, where he met and married his wife, Ruhane Shaholli. While he returned to his home in Connecticut, Ruhane stayed behind until 1940, when she braved a perilous wintertime passage through a North Atlantic that was teeming with German U-boats. Soon after, Ruhane followed in her husband’s footsteps and became an American citizen. They settled in Waterbury, Connecticut, and together raised their children, Eddi, Yllidi, Roy, and Drita.

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