Today in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island five esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Tapestry.

The 8th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, along with the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award were presented by Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO of the Foundation, and Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by actress Candice Bergen at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The 2009 honorees are:

• Sports — Joe Namath
• Science/Medicine — Dr. Eric R. Kandel
• Entertainment — Jerry Seinfeld
• B.C. Forbes Peopling Of America Award — This Award honors immigrants who arrived after the Ellis era or through another port. Gloria and Emilio Estefan

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