Famous People with Syrian and Lebanese Origins

This is merely a list of accomplished Syrian Lebanese Americans, we will encourage and celebrate the accomplishment of so many established men and women who have given the world successful experiences, such legacies that could enlighten and honor our lives for generations to come.

We will try to publish all of them very regularly as recognition for their achievements! And would like to encourage all of our readers to publish the achievements of others on our Facebookpage!

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the charismatic CEO of Apple, is of Syrian descent – although he has never publically acknowledged this.

According to Fortune magazine, Jobs’ biological parents were Abdulfattah ‘John’ Jandali, a Syrian, and Joanne Simpson, both unwed and aged just 23 when Steve was born. Simpson and Jandali put the child up for adoption, and he was brought up by Paul and Clara Jobs.

Jobs dropped out of college in the 1970s to found Apple. He later bought Pixar studios from George Lucas in 1986 and the studio went on to create cinema hits like Finding Nemo and Toy Story. Pixar was sold to Disney in 2006 for a reported $7.4 billion in stock. His net worth is estimated at more than $5 billion, with Forbes ranking him #136 on the 2010 list of the world’s richest people.

Paula Abdul

Grammy Award winner and noted choreographer, Paula Abdul had two-number one albums, six number one singles, and a slew of MTV, Emmy, and People’s Choice Awards.

The child of a Syrian immigrant, Paula garnered international fame with worldwide album sales estimated at over 30 million records. Paula has her own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame as recognition of her stardom.


Ralph Nader

Widely regarded as one of America’s most influential civic activists and social critics, Ralph Nader garnered national fame as a hardnosed consumer advocate and attorney. He stood as a candidate for President of the United States four times.

Born in Connecticut of Lebanese immigrants, his parents Nathra and Rose Nader ran a bakery and restaurant. Nader graduated with distinction from Princeton and Harvard Universities. He is the founder of many influential consumer advocacy groups, and is credited with numerous federal consumer protection laws concerning environmental standards, motor vehicle safety and the Freedom of Information Act.

The Zogby Brothers

Sons of Lebanese Catholic immigrants, the Zogby brothers are perhaps the most prominent Arab Americans in the US – not least because James (pictured, right) is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute. James, who was born in New York in 1945, is an academic and political consultant, and also a senior analyst at his brother’s polling firm, Zogby International.

John (pictured, left) is the founder, president and CEO of Zogby International, a polling firm known for both phone polling and interactive, Internet-based polling.

John J. Mack

John J. Mack was born in 1944, the sixth son to Lebanese immigrants of Greek Orthodox origin. He has been chairman of the Board of Morgan Stanley since June 2005, and was chief executive of the same firm from June 2005 to December 2009. He previously had spent nearly 30 years at the firm in various positions, most recently as president, chief operating officer and a director.



Tony Shalhoub

Tony Shalhoub

Tony Shalhoub, an American actor of Lebanese descent, is perhaps best known for his role as Adrian Monk – the San Francisco detective diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Shalhoub’s diverse acting credits include small screen, theater, and film work. He is also credited with helping to establish The Arab-American Filmmaker Award Competition in 2005. A native of Green Bay Wisconsin, Shalhoub graduated from University of Southern Maine, where he first studied acting as a theater major. He went on to earn a Master’s in Fine Arts at Yale School of Drama.

Shalhoub has won multiple prestigious acting awards, including Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Golden Globe Award.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry-Seinfeld-apJerry Seinfeld is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and television/film producer of Syrian Jewish descent best known for his role as himself in the sitcom Seinfeld. The show ran from 1989 until 1998 and was a huge success in the US and abroad. Jerry co-created and co-wrote the show which led the series to an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1993 and 1994.

An estimated net worth of 800 million makes Jerry one of the richest celebrities in the world. Interesting fact: With over 40 Porsches in his possesion Seinfeld is rumored to own one of the largest Porsche collections in the world.

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