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Immigrants Of The Day: Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz of Portugal, Ann-Margaret of Sweden, and Samuel "Sammy" Peralta Sosa of Dominican Republic

by Kevin R. Johnson

Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz (Portugal)

Teresaheinz2004 Maria Heinz (born October 5, 1938) is an American philanthropist, the wife of U.S. Senator John Kerry and the widow of the late Senator H. John Heinz III.  She was born Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira to Portuguese parents in Portuguese East Africa, at the time a colony and now the independent nation of Mozambique. Heinz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She graduated from the Interpreters School of the University of Geneva (Switzerland) before moving to the United States to work at the United Nations as an interpreter. She is fluent in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, as well as her native tongue, Portuguese.

In 1966, Teresa Simões-Ferreira married billionaire and future Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Henry John Heinz III of the Heinz family famous for their food products. In 1971, Teresa Heinz became a naturalized citizen of the United States.  Senator Heinz died in an airplane crash in 1991 and Teresa Heinz inherited his fortune.

John Kerry and Teresa Heinz were married in 1995. Teresa Heinz reportedly is the chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, disbursing money to social and environmental causes. She assists the community of Pittsburgh, where the Heinz family has had many financial and family connections. In recognition of her philanthropy and activism, Heinz has received eleven honorary doctoral degrees. In 2003, she was also awarded the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism.

Teresa Heinz was a registered Republican, the same as her first husband, Senator Heinz, and she remained a registered Republican despite being marrying Democratic Senator John Kerry. In January 2003, she changed her registration to the Democratic Party. Later in 2004, she reportedly changed her name from Teresa Heinz to Teresa Heinz Kerry during her husband's presidential run and, after her husband's defeat, changed it back.

August 17, 2007 | Permalink

Ann-Margaret (Sweden)

Margret Ann-Margret (born April 28, 1941) is a five-time Golden Globe Award-winning, Kitten Academy Award, Emmy Award and Grammy-nominated American actress, singer, and dancer. Born Ann-Margret Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland, Sweden, she grew up in a small town "of lumberjacks and farmers high up near the Arctic Circle." Her father worked in the United States during his youth, and immigrated there in 1942. Ann-Margret and her mother moved to the United States four years later.  She grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, and attended Northwestern University without graduating.   In 1949, Ann-Margret became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

George Burns "discovered" Ann-Margret singing in a nightclub. She began recording for RCA in 1961r.  In 1961, Ann-Margret made her film début in "Pocketful of Miracles," starring Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, and Hope Lange. Her next starring role as the all-American teenager in "Bye Bye Birdie," made her a major star. When Ann-Margret filmed "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley, the two began an affair that received considerable media attention. In 1971, she starred in Mike Nichols's "Carnal Knowledge," garnering a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Throughout the 1970s, Ann-Margret balanced her live musical performances with a string of critically acclaimed dramatic film roles that played against her glamorous image. These included "Tommy" in 1975, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, she has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards and has won five times.

In 1994, Ann-Margret published an autobiography, Ann Margret: My Story. She has been married to actor Roger Smith since 1967.  In 1995, she was chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history; she ranked 10th.  Ann-Margret has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6501 Hollywood Blvd.

Click here for the official Ann-Margret website.

August 15, 2007 | Permalink

Samuel "Sammy" Peralta Sosa (Dominican Republic)

Sosa Samuel "Sammy" Peralta Sosa (born November 12, 1968 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic) is a designated hitter for the Texas Rangers of the American League. His broke in with the Texas Rangers in 1989 and, since then, has played for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago, Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. Sosa ended the 2005 season with 588 career home runs, placing him fifth on the all-time home run list.  He sat out the 2006 season but, in 2007, he made a comeback attempt with the Rangers, his original big league team.

Sosa had a hard childhood, with his father passing away when he was just seven. His family lived in an abandoned hospital while Sammy sold oranges on the street and shined shoes to make ends meet for his mother and six siblings. He started playing baseball at fourteen, but had to use a branch instead of a bat, an old milk carton for a baseball glove and a sock rolled up as a ball.

On June 20, 2007 against his old team, the Chicago Cubs, Sosa hit his 600th home run, becoming the 5th player in professional baseball to achieve that mark. He is also the all-time home run leader among non-American Major League Baseball players.

Sosa made his major league debut on June 21, 1989 with the Texas Rangers, and he hit his first home run off of Roger Clemens. The Rangers traded Sammy to the Chicago White Sox. He played two seasons for the White Sox and then was traded to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder George Bell before the 1992 season.

After years as a respected power hitter, Sosa emerged during the 1998 season as one of baseball's greatest. It was in this season that both Sosa and Mark McGwire passed Roger Maris's single season home run mark of 61 home runs that had stood since 1961. Sosa ended the season with 66, behind McGwire's 70. His 416 total bases were the most in a single season since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948.

Sosa won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and led the Cubs into the playoffs in 1998.  He and McGwire shared Sports Illustrated magazine's much-coveted 1998 "Sportsman of the Year" award. Sosa was honored with a ticker-tape parade in his honor in New York City, and he was invited to be a guest at President Bill Clinton's 1999 State of the Union Address. The following season Sosa hit 63 home runs, again trailing Mark McGwire who hit 65.

Sosa, already a home run legend, finally led the league by hitting 50 home runs in the 2000 season.

Known as a free-swinger in his early years, and as an easy strikeout candidate, Sosa became an effective hitter for average. He owns numerous team records for the Cubs, and holds the major-league record for the most home runs hit in a month (20, in June 1998).

The Cubs traded Sosa to the Baltimore Orioles in 2005.  For more about Sosa, click here.  for his baseball stats, click here.

Sosa has run into some controversy, with a suspension for use of a corked bat (which he said was a simple mistake) and allegations of steroid use.

August 16, 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.