Near the end of the nineteenth century in Italy, most of the agricultural land was owned by the noble class. As a result, most growing farmers could work only for six months. These farmers had to give half of the harvest to the land owner and, also had to pay tax to the government. Under these circumstances, Italians (particularly from south), tried to explore opportunities in America.
From 1880 to 1922 over 5 million Italians left Italy for America. It is considered the biggest recorded exodus of a single ethnic group in history. According to US census in 2000, the descendants of the early Italian immigrants number was about 16 million, and two thirds of them are white-collar. Social scientists are still trying to find out how such a large number of people with a different culture and language merged smoothly into the American society.
1. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was born to the Italian immigrants Natalie Della Garaventa and Antonino Sinatra on December 12th, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. In his last years he showed symptoms of dementia and died after a second heart attack on May 14, 1988. Starting his musical career with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedented solo artist. During his early years he worked as a delivery boy at The Observer newspaper. In 1983 Sinatra was recognized at Kennedy Center Honors where Ronald Regan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was awarded Congressional Medal in 1997. Frank Sinatra received 11 Grammy Awards which included; Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend and Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
2. Lady Gaga
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta commonly known as Lady Gaga was born to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta descending from Italian and remote French-Canadian roots. She was born in New York on March 28, 1986. She appears to have been brought up by an affluent family but telling about her parents she said, ‘ Both came from lower class families, so we ‘ve worked for everything. My mother worked eight to eight out of the house in telecommunications, and so did my father’. Her entrance song was ‘Radio Ga Ga’ that changed into Lady Ga Ga. She achieved a great success when ‘Poker Face’ ranked first in major music markets worldwide selling 9.8 singles worldwide in 2009. She has been nominated 292 times and has won 150 awards. ‘The Fame’ was nominated for 6 Grammy Awards and the Poker won Best Dance Recording in 2010.
3. Leonardo di Caprio
Leonardo Wilhelm Di Caprio was born to Irmelin and George Di Caprio in Los Angles, California on November 11, 1974. Di Caprio’s father is a fourth generation American. He is half Italian from the Naples area and half German from Bavaria. Di Caprio is an American Actor and has been nominated eight times for Golden Globe Award and won the Golden Globe Award for Best actor in appreciation of his performance in The Aviator. Titanic is the most known film and Leonardo di Caprio is its undisputed most famous and most popular star.
Madona Louise Veronica Ciccone, commonly known as Madona was born to Silvio Anthony Ciccone and Madonna Louise in Bay city, Michigan on August 16, 1958.Her Father is a first generation Italian American with roots in Pacentro, Italy. She is an actress, song writer, singer and an entrepreneur. Madona has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and has been recorded in the Guinness world Records as the ‘World’s Top Selling Female Recording Artist of All Time’. She is known for innovation in music. Madona was educated a St.Frederick’s and St. Andrew’s elementary schools and then at West Middle School. She got high grade points, but at times behaved unconventionally like performing cartwheels and handstands in the hall way between the classes or pulling up her skirt during class to exhibit her underwear. Madona was announced as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee.
5. Francis Ford Coppola
Francis ford Coppola was born to Italia Pennino and Carmine Coppola, in Detroit, Michigan, US on April 7, 1939. His middle name is to honor Henry Ford Hospital, where he was born. He was born to a family of Italian ancestry. His parents were Italian immigrants from Bernalda, Basilica, Italy. He won a musical scholarship to New York Military Academy, graduated from Great Neck North High School and studied at Hofstra University, majoring in theatrical arts. As a student he won three D.H.Lawrence Awards and a Beckman Award. The Film The God-Father Part II won fame and three academy awards for him; The Academy award for Best Picture, Best adapted Screen Play and The Conversation. He is one of Hollywood’s most influential and innovative directors.
6. Eusebio Francisco Kino
Eusebio Francisco Kino was born Tajo Val di Non, Bisphoric of Trent, Italy in August 1645 and died in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, and Mexico on March 15, 1711. He was a priest, Missionary and Explorer. He received his early education at Innsbruck, Austria and got his religious training at Freiburg, Ingolstadt and Landberg, Bavaria. At the request of the natives Kino arrived in Pimeria Altaand covered over 50,000 square miles on horse back. He worked with the natives and taught them to raise cattle, sheep and goat. He also introduced to them to European seeds, fruits, herbs and grains. He worked for 24 years in the region Pimeria Alta which is modern Sonora Mexico and Southern Arizona.
7. Al Pacino
Alfredo James Pacino was born in East Harlem, New York City, New York, US on April 25, 1940. He is a famous actor, director, screenwriter and producer. Pacino received his early education from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, New York.In his early life, during the period of unemployment, he had at times to sleep in streets, theaters or at friend’s houses. He played a Heroine addict’s role in The Panic in Needle Parkland. His performance drew the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola. In preference to many other well known actors, Coppola cast him in The Godfather and he was nominated for an Academy Award in appreciation of his outstanding performance in it.
8. Giacomo Constantino Beltrami
Giacomo Constantino Beltrami, commonly known as Beltrami was born in 1779 in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy and died in Filttrano on January 6, 1855. Beltrami was and a jurist, author and explorer. Beltrami County in Minnesota is named after him. He traveled to many European cities and arrived in England in 1822. Setting out on a voyage he arrived in the United States in December 1822, after two months on ocean. During his interaction with the Native Americans, he found two native flutes which are now preserved in Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali, Bergamo, Italy.
9. Amadeo Giannini
Amadeo Giannini was born to Italian Immigrant parents, in San Jose, California on May 6, 1870 and died on June 3, 1949.He was educated at Heald College, San Francisco, California. He founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco on October 17, 1904. In 1928 Giannini and Orra E.Monnette agreed upon the merger known as, Bank of America’ the largest bank of the country. Most banks operated in single cities prior to Amadeo Giannini’s creation of the system of centralized processing, book keeping, and cash delivery.
10. Philip Mazzei
Philip Mazzei was born in Italy on December 25, 1730. He died on March 19 th of 1816.He was a close friend of Thomas Jefferson. The phrase ‘All men are created equal’ in the Declaration of Independence was contributed by him. John F Kennedy in his book, A Nation of Immigrants, acknowledged Mazzei’s contribution by saying, ‘The great doctrine ‘All men are created equal’ incorporated into the Declaration of independence by Thomas Jefferson, was paraphrased from the writing of Philip Mazzei, an Italian born patriot’¦’.
Italian immigrants entered America to explore opportunities denied to them in their own country. Through their sincere and dedicated work in different fields, they earned a respectful place for themselves within American Society. They have became not only the fifth largest ethnic population, but also one of the most important contributors in all aspects of American culture.
November 15, 2017 11:07 am
what is your name I’m going a project (I need a first last and middle name)