Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1870. He lived there for the first sixteen years of his life, then moved to Switzerland where he attended and graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology. Einstein worked on scientific theories and inventions, such as his “General Theory of Relativity,” which earned him the Nobel Prize. While Einstein was visiting the United States in 1933, Nazi’s had gained power in Germany. After hearing this, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and chose to stay in the United States, working at Princeton University. Albert Einstein spent the rest of his life in the States, until he died in 1955.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 near Graz, Austria. He grew up in a household with an alcoholic Nazi party member father, leading him to immigrate. Schwarzenegger had first moved to London competing in the Mr. Universe bodybuilding contest. He would ultimately place second, and would win the competition a year later on his second attempt. After his successful attempts for Mr. Universe. Schwarzenegger decided his next challenge was to move to the United States and work in movies. He would go on to work on films such as Junior, and The Terminator. A few years later, Schwarzenegger would also become the Governor of California, winning 55.4% of the vote. Arnold Schwarzenegger had come from a tough upbringing in Austria, and would go on to become a celebrity and politician in the United States.
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, was born in Russia in the early 1970s. Living in Moscow while it was still under Soviet Union rule, he had successful parents that worked in education and scientific research. Even with good jobs, the family ultimately decided it was time to leave in 1978 due to rampant anti-Semitism. Brin’s parents had applied for an exit visa, but it would take eight months to receive them, and they had lost their jobs as soon as they applied. They would first move between Italy and France, before finally settling in the United States when Brin’s father received a teaching position at the University of Maryland. Sergey Brin would go on to also attend the University of Maryland receiving a bachelor’s degree of science and mathematics, and would then go to Stanford University to receive a graduate fellowship. Brin would meet his friend and fellow Google founder, Larry Page, at Stanford. The two would launch Google in 1998, quickly becoming one of the biggest names in the tech industry.
Bob Marley was born in 1945 in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, while Jamaica was still under British rule. His mother was an Afro-Jamaican, while his father was an English Settler. Marley would be inspired growing up by the ska and R&B hits he would hear coming out of the United States, and began engaging with other musicians in Kingston, Jamaica to begin his musical career. Marley would put out his first #1 hit in Jamaica in 1964 alongside the Wailers. Marley would visit the States as his mother lived in Newark, but firstly would only immigrate to London. Marley would live temporarily in London and the United States following his success as a musician, ultimately dying of cancer in Miami in 1981. Bob Marley took his success as a musician to allow himself to travel the globe, and live in many countries before he would pass away. While not officially a U.S. citizen, Bob Marley is an inspiration for turning his life into that of a constant immigrant.
Bruce Willis was born to an American father and German mother in Germany in 1955. His father was an American soldier stationed in Germany, but moved his family to New Jersey in 1957 when he was discharged. Bruce Willis was initially bullied and called “Buck Buck” because he had developed a stutter, but the future actor joined the high school drama club to help combat that stutter. Willis would eventually go on to study drama at Montclair State University, and moved to New York following his schooling to work on broadway. Bruce Willis would eventually go on to star in movies such as The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, and Unbreakable.
Jackie Chan was born in British Hong Kong, China, in 1954. Chan’s parents were refugees of the Chinese Civil War, leading him to be raised in poverty in a servants’ quarters of a French Embassy, because his father and mother both worked there. Chan began acting and practicing the art of martial arts at the young age of five years old, leading him to excel in his training and be a part of his school’s best performance group. Chan would quickly become a huge success in Hong Kong, eventually gaining fame across all of Asia. In 1995, Jackie Chan decided it was time to make an attempt of success in the United States, starring in the film Rumble in the Bronx after he first immigrated over.
Shohei Ohtani was born in rural Japan, about three hours away from Tokyo. Ohtani’s mother was a badminton player, and his father was a baseball player for a corporate league. Ohtani quickly hit 99 MPH pitches in high school, setting him up to be a major league player. Ohtani would become the first overall pick in the 2012 NPB Draft, being drafted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Ohtani would go on to give a shot at joining the MLB in 2017, and every single team attempted to pick him up. Ohtani would eventually settle on joining the Los Angeles Angels, after they agreed to allow him to both pitch and bat for the team. After three years of playing in the MLB in the United States, Shohei Ohtani has quickly become one of the biggest sport stars in the country, and is already in the conversation for best baseball player to ever live.
Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in a small Croatian village called Smiljan. As a child, Tesla was known to overwork himself in school so much to the point his professors would warn his parents that he was doing too much. He began working for the Budapest Telephone Exchange in 1881, and was transferred to the United States in 1884 to work in New York City. After arriving in New York City, Tesla would go on to create his own company, Tesla Electric light and Manufacturing. The company focused on advancements in radio technology and alternating-current dynamos, such as inventing the Tesla coil. Tesla would live in NYC, Colorado Springs, and eventually Long Island. Nikola Tesla would go on to become a permanent citizen in the United States, and create the legacy for himself for being one of the most celebrated inventors of all time.
Born in Panama in 1969, Mariano Rivera grew up in a small fishing village. He has originally finished schooling and began working with his father on a fishing boat, but after the boat capsized he changed his mind and decided he wanted to play baseball professionally. Rivera started his career in 1988 playing shortstop in Panama, but would be scouted by the Yankees after his team desperately needed someone to pitch and he took on the role. He would immigrate to New York to play for his new team, only getting a $3000 signing bonus. After five years of training in lower leagues in the United States, Mariano Rivera would go on to become one of the best closers in MLB history. To this day Rivera still permanently lives in the United States, while still going back to Panama periodically to support his hometown communities.
Elon Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. Musk was always a technologist, buying his first computer at the age of ten. He had taught himself programming, and sold his first software program for $500 two years later, a game called Blastar. Musk would leave South Africa at the age of 17 to avoid compulsory military service. He decided he would move to the United States because “It is where great things are possible. I am nauseatingly pro-American.” Originally, Musk moved to the U.S. to study energy physics at Stanford, but would go on to drop out after two days to start his first company. Musk and his brother produced online content publishing software they ultimate sold in 1999 for $341 million. Musk would then go on to create and sell PayPal for $1.5 billion, and created his third company in 2002 named SpaceX. Musk would go on to spend his time in the United States becoming one of the richest men in the world, named America’s Most Innovative Leader by Forbes in 2019, and made a huge impact in the development of electrical cars.
Salma Hayek was born in 1966 in Mexico. She was raised in a wealthy, Catholic family, and began acting in Mexico before her immigration. In 1989, Hayek would star in the Mexican Film “Teresa,” creating her stardom in South America. She would decide to immigrate to the United States, even briefly becoming an illegal immigrant in the country. When she first decided to immigrate, she was shunned by the Hollywood scene because casting a Mexican-American lead wasn’t considered even possible. She would even become a large part of the #MeToo movement, being one of the first women to publicly share her experiences with Harvey Weinstein. Hayek would eventually earn the lead role in the Film “Frida”, beginning her stardom in the United States. She would even go on to be the first Arab-American actor cast in the Marvel Universe, and continues acting today.
Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam, in 1955. Van Halen’s family moved to the United States in 1962 in California, where Eddie taught himself to play the piano as a child. His parents attempted to lead him to the lifestyle of a classical composer, but Van Halen would not have it and gravitate more towards rock and roll. His first band was named “The Broken Combs,” but they would later move on to “Van Halen.” The group ranks in the top twenty artists of all time in terms of sales, and Eddie Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. While speaking at an event in 2015, Eddie Van Halen was quoted saying “We came here with approximately $50 and a piano, and we didn’t speak the language. Now look where we are. If that’s not the American dream, what is?”
Born in 1980 in China, Yao Ming had parents that were 6 foot 7 inches and 6 foot 3 inches, giving them a clue he would be a tall person. Ming started playing basketball when he was 13 years old, and would practice at least 10 hours every single day. Ming would enter the NBA draft in 2002, and would become banned from playing basketball in China after refusing to play for the national team. The Chinese government also stated they would not let Yao go to the United States unless he was the first draft pick, which was in possession of the Houston Rockets. The Rockets drafted Yao first overall, and he immigrated to the United States to play in the NBA. Yao would retire in 2011 after foot injuries, and spent his time as an executive.