Famous American Immigrants

Immigrants make up the great country we call the United States of America. According to US immigration statistics, foreing nationals make up more than 13% of the US population. Whether they were authors, builders, or actors, they all served an important purpose in how we live in our respectable freedoms. Together, let’s look through this famous American immigrants list that even contains famous immigrants from Ellis Island.

Elie Wiesel

Born on September 30, 1928, Elie Wiesel was a Nobel-prize winning writer, an activist, teacher, and Holocaust survivor. He was born in Sighet, Romania. He was pursuing Jewish religious studies before his family was forced in a Nazi death camp in World War II. Wiesel survived and relocated to the United States where he went on to write a critically acclaimed memoir about his experiences entitled Night. He wrote many other books and became an activist speaking out against injustice around the world.

Pramila Jayapal

In 1965, Pramila Jayapal was born in Chennai, India. When she was 16 years old, her family used the US immigration system to move to the US. She went on the study at Georgetown University and Northwestern University. She began her career as a financial analyst but soon left to work in social justice. In 2015, she was elected as a Washington state senator and has been hailed as a “Champion of Change.” In 2016, she was elected to Congress and became the first Indian-American woman to ever serve in the House of Representatives.

John Muir

John Muir is a world famous naturalist who was born in 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland. He and his family immigrated to Portage, Wisconsin when he was 11 years old. It was there where his thoughts and observations about nature began to form. He studied at the University of Wisconsin and became an inventor. He began traveling around the United States in 1867 and eventually settled in California with his wife and children. His writing about nature became so popular that it eventually led to the creation of multiple national parks including Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon. Muir was one of the best important people in the history of immigration in the US.

Irving Berlin

The songwriter, Irving Berlin is one of the most famous immigrants from Ellis Island. He was born in Russia in 1888. His family immigrated to New York City when he was only four years old. When he was young, he worked as a singing busboy in the Bowery. He published his first song in 1911. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote more than 800 songs, many of which are now considered to be American classics. This includes “Easter Parade,” “White Christmas,” and “God Bless America.” He also composed the music for the stage shows Annie Get Your Gun, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and Top Hat.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman truly deserves a spot on this famous American immigrants list. Born in Jerusalem to doctor and a homemaker, the Portman family immigrated to the US in 1984. Natalie was only three years old when they relocated to Washington DC. Later they settled in Connecticut. Natalie currently has a dual citizenship in the United States and Jerusalem. She has starred in films like Star Wars, Thor, and Black Swan. Portman is also a very accomplished scholar having graduated from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in psychology. She took graduate classes at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has co-authored multiple scientific research journals.

Albert Einstein

The American immigrant Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century, and possibly ever. He was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879. When he was 16, he moved to Switzerland where he graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology. Later, he began working on new inventions and scientific theories, including his “General Theory of Relativity,” for which he won the Nobel Prize. In 1933 when he was visiting America, the Nazi party gained power in his home country of Germany and he renounced his German citizenship. He chose to stay in America and work at Princeton University. He spent the remainder of his years working towards peace until he dies in 1955.

Andrew Carnegie

Though he became one of the wealthiest businessmen of the 19th century, Andrew Carnegie started from humble beginnings. He was born in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. The Carnegie family moved to the US in 1848 for the promise of a better life. Andrew began working various jobs for the railroad a few years later. By 1889, he was the owner and operator of the Carnegie Steel Corporation. This was the largest of its kind in the entire world. Later on, he sold the business to focus on his philanthropic work. This work included establishing the Carnegie-Mellon University.

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. She immigrated to Los Angeles, California with her family at the age of seven. They had nothing but $250 in their pocket. Her parents gave up everything to move to America to provide a better life for their children. Her father who was a former mechanical engineer found work as a cab driver and her mother, a physics professor, ran a pharmacy. Mila began taking acting lessons as a child and appeared in a number of commercials before landing her breakout role on That 70’s Show. She has also appeared in Family Guy, Black Swan, Ted, and Friends with Benefits.

Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning was an American abstract expressionist painter. In 1904, he was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1926 when he was in his 20s, he stowed away to the United States and made New York City his home. He developed his unique style of art while exploring both abstract scenes and painting figures. His main art subjects were women, but later he worked on landscapes and even sculptures. Later in life, he developed Alzheimer’s disease and was unable to paint anymore. He passed away at the age of 92.

US immigration is one of the most important features of the United States. It shows a welcoming culture with a need for brighter inventors, more creative designers, and bolder speakers. Every day, new immigrants come to the US to not only make their own future brighter but to build and grow for the brighter future of America. If this speaks to you, gain US citizenship by filling out a Citizenship Application today to become a part of something bigger and become more than just a number in the US immigration statistics.

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