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Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

America is world-renowned for its entrepreneurial business spirit, and this spirit is fueled in large part by immigrants. In every economic census since 1880, immigrants are more likely to be self-employed than the native-born population. While some of these immigrant entrepreneurs were highly educated, many were not. In fact, the only characteristic they share is the courage to leave their home countries and the drive and determination to start a new life in the United States.

Here is a tribute to the immigrant entrepreneurs who founded some of today’s most influential brands, midsize businesses that are the engines of regional economies and not-for-profits that enhance the lives of many Americans.


Fortune 500 Biotech/Healthcare Information Technology
Country of Origin Consumer Goods/Services Manufacturing
Financial Services/Real Estate Retail Social Entrepreneurs


Sample Fortune 500 Immigrant Entrepreneurs

AT&T logo
Alexander Graham Bell
AT&T and Verizon founder
Ranked 12 and 15 in the 2015 Fortune 500

James L. (J.L.) Kraft
Kraft Foods founder
Ranked 165 in the 2015 Fortune 500

Nigel Morris
Capital One Financial co-founder
Ranked 126 in the 2015 Fortune 500


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Sample Biotech / Healthcare Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Kiran Patel
WellCare Health Plans founder

Pfizer Logo

Charles Pfizer
Pfizer Inc. co-founder


Ivor Royston and Charles Weissmann
England and Switzerland
Biogen co-founders

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Sample Consumer Goods and Services Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Comcast Logo Daniel Aaron
Comcast co-founder

James Gamble and William Procter

Ireland and England
Procter & Gamble co-founders

Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss founder

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Sample Financial Services/Real Estate Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Andrew Carnegie
TIAA-CREF founder

BNY Mellon Logo

Thomas Alexander Mellon
BNY Mellon founder

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Sample Information Technology Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Google LogoSergey Brin
Google co-founder

Pierre Omidyar
eBay founder


Jerry Yang
Yahoo! Inc. co-founder


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Sample Manufacturing Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Albert Butz
Honeywell International co-founder

PPG LogoJohn Pitcairn Jr.
PPG Industries co-founder

Frederick Weyerhäuser
Weyerhaeuser co-founder

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Sample Retail Immigrant Entrepreneurs

TJX logoMax and Morris Feldberg
TJX, BJ’s Wholesale Club co-founders


Maxwell Kohl
Kohl’s founder

John W. Nordstrom
Nordstrom co-founder

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Sample Social Immigrant Entrepreneurs

John Muir
The Sierra Club co-founder

Zainab Salbi
Women for Women International co-founder


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The Immigrant Learning Center, 442 Main Street, Malden, Massachusetts, 02148     (781) 322-9777

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