7 Notable Ellis Island Immigrants – Ellis Island is located in the New York Harbor. The island opened as an immigration station in 1892 and remained an immigration station until 1954. During its operation, millions of immigrants passed through here. In fact, about 40 percent of the country’s citizens have an ancestor who came to the United States through Ellis Island. These 7 Notable Ellis Island Immigrants are some of the most famous Americans who came through Ellis Island.
1. Irving Berlin
This famous composer and lyricist was born on May 11, 1888, in Temun, Siberia. His name at birth was Israel Baline. In 1893, he came with his family to America. The family had fled Siberia in order to escape Russia’s persecution of the Jews. Some of his most well-known songs include, “God Bless America” and “White Christmas.”
2. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is one of the greatest physicists of all time. He is another immigrant who fled to America to escape the persecution of the Jews. Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany. He emigrated to the United States in December of 1932. This was one month before Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Einstein won a Nobel Prize for physics and was best known for his theory of relativity.
3. John Muir
John Muir is the country’s most famous conservationist. He was born on April 21, 1838, in Dunbar, Scotland. His family emigrated to the United States in 1849. After coming through Ellis Island, the Muir family made their way to Wisconsin. It was here the family built their home and farm. During his time in the countryside, Muir became an avid lover of nature. In 1892, Muir helped to found the Sierra Club. Through his writings, Muir convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Mt. Rainier as national parks.
4. Joseph Pulitzer
Born on April 10, 1847, in Mako, Hungary Joseph Pulitzer became the country’s most powerful journalist. As an editor and publisher, Pulitzer helped establish the pattern of the modern newspaper. He emigrated to the United States in 1864. While living in Budapest, he had been recruited for the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he became involved in politics, as well as newspapers. In 1912 he founded the Columbia School of Journalism. In 1917 the Pulitzer Prizes were established in his honor. These awards recognize those who work in the field of journalism. Pulitzer is also known for helping to keep the Statue of Liberty in New York.
5. Annie Moore
While some may not recognize her name, Annie Moore is famous for being the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island. The occurrence took place on New Year’s Day in 1892. Moore was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1877. She left Ireland with her two younger brothers on December 20, 1891. Upon reaching America, they joined their parents and older siblings who had come to the country four years prior.
6. Bob Hope
Bob Hope was born on May 29, 1903, in London, England. He emigrated to America with his mother and five of his brothers in 1908. They arrived on Ellis Island on March 30, 1908, and made their way to Cleveland. This is where his father worked as a stonemason. Hope became one of the most famous entertainers in America. He was an author, dancer, athlete, singer, actor, and humanitarian. He was also a stand-up comedian. One of his most famous lines is, “Though I was born in England, I left at the age of four…actually the minute I started to talk, they deported me.”
7. Claudette Colbert
Born on September 13, 1903, in Paris, France Claudette Colbert emigrated to America with her parents at the age of 3. Her name at birth had been Emilie Claudette Chauchoin. She adopted the stage name of Claudette Colbert during her Broadway debut in 1923. Because the Great Depression had shut down Broadway, Colbert resorted to making films. Throughout the 1930s, she had become one of the brightest stars to grace the big screen. Her final appearance took place in 1987 in a television movie called The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.