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Immigrants Of The Day: Anne Elisabeth Jane "Liz" Claiborne of Belgium, Charles Fried of Czechoslovakia, and Neil Percival Young of Canada

by Kevin R. Johnson

Liz Claiborne (Belgium)

Claiborne Anne Elisabeth Jane "Liz" Claiborne (19292007) was a fashion designer and entrepreneur. Claiborne is best known for founding Liz Claiborne Inc. which in 1986 became the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500.

Claiborne was born in Brussels.  In 1939, at the start of World War II, the family moved to New Orleans. In 1949, Claiborne won the Jacques Heim National Design Contest and then moved to New York City where she worked for years in the Garment District as a sketch artist at a sportswear house. She worked as a designer for a number of companies.  Claiborne, frustrated at the failure of the companies that she worked for to provide clothes for working women, started her own design company, Liz Claiborne Inc., in 1976. It was an immediate success with sales of $2 million in 1976 and $23 million in 1978. By 1988 it had acquired one-third of the American women's upscale sportswear market.

Liz Claiborne Inc. went public in 1981 and made the Fortune 500 in 1986 with retail sales of $1.2 billion. Claiborne brought some innovations to the business world.  She listed all employees in the directory in alphabetical order to circumvent what she perceived as male hierarchies.  She would sometimes pose as a saleswoman to see what average women thought of her clothes.

Liz Claiborne retired from active management in 1989.

September 20, 2007 | Permalink

Charles Fried (Czechoslovakia)

Charles_fried Charles Fried is a prominent conservative American jurist and lawyer. He served as U.S. Solicitor General from 1985 to 1989. He is currently a the Beneficial Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1935, Fried became a U.S. citizen in 1948. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, he attended Oxford University, where he earned a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Law.   In 1960, Fried received his J.D. from Columbia Law School.  He joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1961.

In October 1985, President Reagan appointed Fried as Solicitor General of the United States. As Solicitor General, he represented the Reagan Administration before the Supreme Court in 25 cases.

In 1989, when President Reagan left office, Fried returned to Harvard Law School. From September 1995 until June 1999, Fried served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Before joining the court, Fried held the chair of Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School. On July 1, 1999, he returned to Harvard Law School as a fulltime member of the faculty and Beneficial Professor of Law.

Fried has taught courses on appellate advocacy, commercial law, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, federal courts, labor law, torts, legal philosophy, and medical ethics.   He is the author of seven books, over thirty journal articles, and his work has appeared in over a dozen collections.

In 2005, Fried testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of John Roberts to become Chief Justice of the United States. Fried also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of Samuel Alito Alito to the Supreme Court.

September 21, 2007 | Permalink

Neil Young (Canada)

Neilyoung Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945, Toronto, Ontario) is a musician.  Young has experimented widely with differing music styles, including swing, jazz, rockabilly, blues, and electronica throughout his career but his best known work usually falls into either of two distinct styles: folk-esque acoustic rock (as heard in songs such as "Heart of Gold", "Harvest Moon" and "Old Man") and electric-charged hard rock (in songs like "Cinnamon Girl", "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"). In more recent years, Young has started to adopt elements from newer styles of music, such as industrial, alternative country and grunge, the latter of which was profoundly influenced by his own style of playing.

Besides his solo career, Young is best known for his involvement is a number of famous groups including Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Crazy Horse.

Young is an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and small farmers, having co-founded the benefit concert Farm Aid, and in 1986 helped found The Bridge School, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts.

Young remains a Canadian citizen and has not sought to become a U.S. citizen.  He has has lived in the United States for many years and has stated, about U.S. elections, that he has "got just as much right to vote in them as anybody else."

Young was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: first in 1995 for his solo work, and again in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.

For a full biography, click here.

Here are videos of two of my favorite Neil Young songs -- Like A Hurricane and Hey Hey, My My.

September 24, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.