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Mary Higgins Clark B.C. Forbes Donna E. Shalala Mel Brooks
Mary Higgins Clark B.C. Forbes Donna E. Shalala Mel Brooks

On April 17, 2008 in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island, three esteemed individuals and a renowned family were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Experience.

The 7th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, were presented by Lee A. Iacocca, Founding Chairman of the Foundation, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by Lynn Sherr of ABC News at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

This year’s Ellis Island honorees received a framed copy of the original ship’s passenger manifest documenting the arrival of their family in America. In presenting the awards, Lee A. Iacocca said, “Each and every one of these honorees—these sons and daughters of Ellis Island—represents what I admire most about Americans: the drive to succeed, even in the face of adversity, the leadership and creativity to forge their way.”

The 2008 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards Honorees:

Mary Higgins Clark
The Bronx-born bestselling suspense writer has sold over 85 million books in the U.S. alone and credits her Irish heritage for her storytelling talent. Mrs. Higgins Clark’s newest novel is “Where Are You Now?”. Her father came from Ireland in 1906.

The Forbes Family
“Forbes,” the oldest of the nation’s major business magazines, was founded in 1917 by Scottish immigrant B.C. Forbes, who first arrived in America in 1904. B.C.’s descendants continue to manage Forbes Media Inc., a privately held company which publishes “Forbes” in eight foreign languages, reaching five million readers worldwide.

Donna E. Shalala
President, University of Miami, Dr. Shalala has more than 25 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. Under President Clinton, she served eight years as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, becoming the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history. Her paternal grandfather came from Lebanon in 1900.

Mel Brooks
Director, producer, writer and actor, Mel Brooks has created many comedy film classics as well as the popular television show “Get Smart.” His latest project is “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein” currently playing on Broadway. His father emigrated from Austria as a child in 1896.

2010 Recipients  |  2009 Recipients  |  2007 Recipients  |  2006 Recipients

2005 Recipients  |  2004 Recipients  |  2003 Recipients  |  2001 Recipients


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