It’s funny when some Americans talk about who is an American and who isn’t . . .
It made me think of some commonly-perceived “Great Americans” who weren’t born here, like . . .
Christopher Columbus (Italian) (“discovered” America, and for whom cities & holidays, and circles & squares are named after)
William Penn (English) (founder of Pennsylvania and champion of religious acceptance)
Thomas Paine (English) (author of Common Freakin’ Sense, 1776)
Alexander Hamilton (British West Indian) (Founding Father and co-author of The Federalist Papers)
General Lafayette (French) (huge hero in the American Revolution under George Washington)
Charles Darwin (English) (scientist, naturalist, founder of evolution theory)
Albert Einstein (German) (relatively important physicist)
Alexander Graham Bell (Scottish) (scientist, living in Canada when he invented the telephone)
Adam Smith (Scottish) (a founding father of modern economics)
John Kenneth Galbraith (Canadian) (economist, Presidential advisor, ambassador, author)
Andrew Carnegie (Scottish) (patriarch of the industrialist and philanthropist family)
Meyer Guggenheim (Swiss) (patriarch of the other industrialist and philanthropist family)
Joseph Pulitzer (Hungarian) (publisher who bequeathed the journalism awards)
James Smithson (English) (scientist who bequeathed the Smithsonian Institution)
John Roebling (German) (designed The Brooklyn Bridge and many others)
John McIntosh (Canadian) (farmer who invented the original McIntosh)
Levi Strauss (German) (inventor of blue jeans)
C.F. Martin (German) (founder of the company making the best acoustic guitars in the world)
the Gimbels brothers (German) (founders of the department store chain)
the Warner Brothers (Jack was Canadian; Harry, Sam & Albert were Polish [temporarily Russian])
Marshall McLuhan (Canadian) (philosopher, author, teacher)
Stephen Hawking (English) (physicist, author, teacher)
Madeline Albright (Czech) (Secretary of State)
Isaac Asimov (Russian) (author)
I.M. Pei (Chinese) (architect of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and many other masterpieces)
Joe Shuster (Canadian) (creator of Superman)
George Soros (Hungarian) (financier and philanthropist)
Bill Graham (German) (producer/promoter and essentially the inventor of rock concerts)
Peter Jennings (Canadian) (journalist, ABC news anchor)
Morley Safer (Canadian) (journalist, 60 Minutes reporter)
Mort Sahl (Canadian) (political satirist, comic pioneer)
Jerzy Kosinski (Polish) (author)
Not to mention . . .
Bob Hope (English) (comedian)
Charlie Chaplin (English) (actor and director)
Stan Laurel (English) (comedic partner to Oliver Hardy)
Harry Houdini (Hungarian) (magician, escape artist)
Alfred Hitchcock (English) (film director)
Walter Huston (Canadian) (actor and father of John)
Mary Pickford (Canadian) (actress, and co-founder of United Artists)
Norman Jewison (Canadian) (director, In The Heat of The Night, etc.)
Milos Forman (Czech) (director, Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, Hair, Ragtime, etc.)
Roman Polanski (French-born, Polish raised) (director, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.)
Robert Frank (Swiss) (photographer, filmmaker)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austrian) (former Governor of Caleefornia)
John Lennon (English – famously applied for U.S. naturalization)
Bob Marley (Jamaican) (musical philosopher)
Neil Young (Canadian) (musician, green car investor)
Joni Mitchell (Canadian) (songstress)
Yo-Yo Ma (French) (cellist)
Itzhak Perlman (Israeli) (violinist)
Leonard & Phil Chess (Polish) (founders of Chess Records)
and Martin Short, Jim Carrey, Seth Rogen, Mike Meyers, Michael J. Fox, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Howie Mandel, Catherine O’Hara, Samantha Bee, Lorne Michaels, David Steinberg, Norm Macdonald, Tommy Chong, John Candy, Rich Little, etc, . . . (all Canadian comedians)
Brian Hassett — firstname.lastname@example.org
And for another really cool list — check out — Some famous people who don’t have kids.
Or you’d prolly enjoy The Inauguration Adventures.
Or here’s a book I wrote — “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac” — about a bunch of wild globetrotting characters.
Or there’s the immigrant’s tale The Grateful Dead Played My 30th Birthday Party.
Or here’s a primer to one of America’s most international cities — New Orleans Jazz Fest For People Who Haven’t Been.