Heritage Month

Italian American

As the largest group of immigrants processed at Ellis Island, it is no wonder so many recognizable Italian names can be found in our Passenger Database.  

From food (Mama Celeste, Mr. Coffee, Planters Peanuts) to entertainment (Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Gina Lollobridgida) to the sciences (Rita Levi-Montalcini, Emilio Segrè) and more, the influence of Italian immigrants and their descendants permeates American culture.

Motorsport Legends

Twins Aldo and Mario Andretti were born on February 28, 1940. They started their lives in Montona, Kingdom of Italy, which today is Motovun, Croatia. After spending many years in a refugee camp in Tuscany, the family immigrated to the United States and eventually arrived at the Port of New York in 1955.

They settled in Pennsylvania, where the brothers discovered a dirt oval track that inspired their careers as racecar drivers and began a dynasty of racecar driving legends. Following a career cut short after a series of accidents, Aldo became a successful businessman. Mario became one of motorsport’s most prolific drivers, winning over 100 races. Among numerous accolades, Mario was named “Driver of the Century” by the Associated Press and inducted into multiple halls of fame.

Aldo Andretti Passenger ID 9012025812246
Mario Andretti Passenger ID 9012024717859

Nobel Laureate

Renato Dulbecco was born on February 22, 1914, in Catanzaro, Italy. He earned a medical degree from the University of Torino and then served as a medical officer in the Italian Army during World War II. After being wounded, Renato joined the resistance.

With a focus on virology, he moved to the U.S. in 1947 to work at Indiana University, the California Institute of Technology, and later the Salk Institute for Biological Research in San Diego. In 1975, Dr. Dulbecco was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his role in determining a link between genetic mutations and cancer.

Renato Dulbecco became of U.S. citizen in 1953; his name is visible in our Ellis Island Passenger Search Database.

Passenger ID 9011866279512