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MUSIC SUPERSTAR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, FINANCIER PETER G. PETERSON, NBA ALL-STAR DIKEMBE MUTOMBO AND AVON CEO ANDREA JUNG HONORED AT 2010 ELLIS ISLAND FAMILY HERITAGE AWARDS
Today 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, which honors the lives of immigrants who arrived at another time or through another port, were presented by Lee 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 Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News Anchor. The 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients are: ENTERTAINMENT 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. BUSINESS 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. 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). Mr. Springsteen and Mr. Peterson received a framed copy of the original ship’s passenger manifest documenting the arrival of their family through Ellis Island. The Foundation’s database of ship’s passenger arrivals available at the American Family Immigration History Center® at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and online at www.ellisisland.org documents the arrival records of the more than 25 million immigrants, travelers and crew members who came through America’s Golden Door and the Port of New York from 1892-1924. Mr. Mutombo and Ms. Jung, recipients of the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award sponsored by the Forbes Family, join a stellar group of newer immigrants or those who arrived through other ports. The stories of immigrants like them, as well as those who came to this country before the Ellis Island era, will be told in the new $20 million expansion of the Museum—The Peopling of America® Center. Currently raising funds for the completion of the project, the Foundation expects the Center to open in 2012.