Immigrants Of The Week: Martina Navratilova, Zubin Mehta, Tom Lantos, Linus Torvalds
by Greg Siskind
Editor's note: Here are some entries from Greg Siskind's blog.
OK, I'm a lousy tennis player, but I've always been a tennis fan and enjoy watching a good Grand Slam tournament. I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of Wimbledons and US Opens though it has been many years. So I'm in bed this weekend with a cold and my laptop and my new high def television watching the US Open matches. And I'm reminded of a US Open match I went to several years ago where I was lucky enough to be in the stands and watch the great Chris Evert play her final match ever against Zina Garrison, also a great American tennis player. Evert's famous rival for nearly two decades, Martina Navratilova, also was playing in that tournament and made it to the finals where she lost against the legendary Steffi Graf (who I'm sure I'll profile in a later post).
Martina is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. She
won an astounding 59 Grand Slam titles in Women's Singles (18), Women's Doubles
(31) and Mixed Doubles (10). Despite playing in an era with greats like Evert, Graf, Monica Seles and
Billie Jean King, Navratilova set a record winning 74 matches in a row. Navratilova
played an amazingly long career only retiring last year at
Navratilova's immigration story is not dissimilar to other
athletes from Eastern Bloc countries. She was a citizen of Czechoslavakia
and defected to the
Most Americans cannot name a symphony conductor, but for those
that can, one of the names they are very likely to know is
Zubin Mehta, an Indian American.
Maestro Mehta has been the conductor and the musical director of many of the
world's great symphonies including the New York Philharmonic, the Israeli
Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Zubin
has has a long and interesting career that has
included conducting concerts that not only were great musically, but important
politically. In 1991, during the height of the first Gulf War, he became a hero
Congressman Tom Lantos'
heavy Hungarian accent may make him seem out of place on the floor of the US
House of Representatives, but he's been in Congress longer than most of his
colleagues. He was sent by his
Lantos is one of a small number of Congressmen who started as
refugees in this country. He is a Holocaust survivor who fought in the
anti-German resistance in
Some of you are saying, "Well, it's about time." Linus Torvalds, the Finnish immigrant who is only 37, has only been in the US since 2004, but he was already quite famous before arriving thanks to his role in founding Linux, the open source operating system that is now one of the big three (the others being Windows and Macintosh).
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.