THE 9TH ANNUAL ELLIS ISLAND FAMILY HERITAGE AWARDS
On April 22, 2010 in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island four esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Dream.
The 9th Annual
Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, along with the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award were presented by Lee A. Iacocca, Founding Chairman of the Foundation, and Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation presents the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards to celebrate the Golden Door to America for the 17 million immigrants who came to this country through the Port of New York and Ellis Island. The B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, sponsored by the Forbes Family, honors the lives of immigrants who arrived at another time or through
another port of entry. Each year, a select number of these immigrants or their descendants are chosen through a process that is guided by an Awards Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients are:
Bruce Springsteen — His recording career spans more than thirty years, beginning with 1973's Columbia Records release 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.' He has released twenty-four albums, garnered nineteen Grammy Awards, won an Oscar, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is a 2009 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. His maternal grandfather Antonio Zerilli immigrated to America through Ellis Island from Italy in 1900.
B.C. FORBES PEOPLING OF AMERICA AWARD—BUSINESS
Andrea Jung — Elected chairman of Avon Products in September 2001, she has been CEO since November 1999. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company, Apple, Catalyst, and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ms. Jung came to the U.S. from Toronto as a child, is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin).
Peter G. Peterson — Founder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, he is Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group. Peterson has served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Nixon in 1972. His parents emigrated from Greece, arriving at Ellis Island in 1912 and 1920.
B.C. FORBES PEOPLING OF AMERICA AWARD—SPORTS
Dikembe Mutombo — In his 18 years with the NBA, he was the first four-time Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mutombo came to the U.S.A. in 1987 and became a citizen in March 2006. For the last 14 years he has dedicated himself to improving health, education and quality of life in his native Congo and across Africa.