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Immigrants of the week : Simon Winchester and Andy Bechtolsheim

by Greg Siskind


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I'm about to start reading British native Simon Winchester's 2003 bestseller Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded about the massive Indonesian volcano. I've always had a fascination with natural disasters all the way back to writing a junior high school research paper on hurricanes when I was growing up in Miami. Winchester's book on Krakatoa and his 2005 book A Crack in the Edge of the World about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake have had great reviews and I'm looking forward to reading both.

Simon Winchester is a noted journalist who is known for his work writing for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Conde Naste Traveler, National Geographic and Smithsonian. His books have covered a variety of subjects including books on subjects like the Falklands War, the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the opening of China to the West and, most recently, a book on the real life inspiration for the character of Alice in Alice in Wonderland.


German-born Andy Bechtolsheim is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, one of the leading IT companies in the United States. The company was acquired last year by Oracle for $7.4 billion and is now known as Oracle America. Bechtolsheim and fellow Stanford graduates started the company in 1982 and Bechtolsheim remained with the company until 1995 when he left to start Granite Systems, a company that manufactured network switches. That company was acquired by Cisco a year later and Bechtolsheim became an executive with that well-known company. In 2003 he left Cisco to join another company, Kealia, a server company he co-founded. Sun acquired the company in 2004 and Bechtolsheim found himself back at the company he started 22 years before. His latest venture is a company called Arista Networks, a high speed networking company.

Bechtolsheim is also the co-founder of a venture capital company that helps finance start up ventures in the IT world. One of his early successes was an investment in Google in the company's earliest days. His $100,000 investment in Google in 1998 is now estimated to be worth $1.5 billion.

About The Author

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

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

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