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About The Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Heritage Awards Celebrate Nation of Immigrants

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation created the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards to celebrate the extraordinary lives of selected Americans who trace their ancestry through Ellis Island or an earlier era of arrival, or naturalized Americans who are immigrants who came in the post-Ellis Island era. The Awards were instituted in conjunction with the April 2001 opening of the American Family Immigration History Center® (, which contains the immigration and travel records of the almost 65 million people who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1820 and 1957. Honorees have crossed the American spectrum from sports heroes and authors to former Secretaries of State to Nobel Prize winners and comedians. 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 2016 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards are featured below in the event highlights video.

View Heritage Award Recipients!




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