This is a list of notable Armenian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants. Today, more than 120 Armenian parish communities exist on the continent, with two-thirds operating as fully organized churches with sanctuaries. Avedis Guidanian Lebanese minister of Tourism Joe Hockey, Treasurer of Australia, member of the parliament, and Australian ambassador to the US. Activist groups, some lawmakers and arguably the most famous Armenian-American - reality TV star Kim Kardashian West - have been calling for the United States to take a … They form the second largest community of the Armenian diaspora after Armenians in Russia. I'd say more negative than positive. Armenians, in turn, made a great contribution to the development of Lebanon. [114], As of 2000, 53% of the Armenians living in the US speak the Armenian language. "[149] Fund for Armenian Relief is a humanitarian organization providing long-term programs focusing on human development. See more ideas about famous armenians, armenian, famous. The list may start with one of the greatest sea painters, Ivan Aivazovsky (1817 … The 2000 Census reported only 2,528 Armenians in San Francisco, but Hayk The Ubiquitous Armenian, stated "the actual number is probably much higher since the census is usually lower than actuals. In 1992, Dr. Dickran Kouymjian of the California State University, Fresno stated: All have refocused their efforts toward Armenia, providing financial and professional skill. In the US he pursued a career as a dentist and worked as … Jordan, Robert Paul and Harry Naltchayan. Cher The 68-year-old singer and actor was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, the child of an American mother and an Armenian-American father. For other, not so famous Armenians, click here . [21] Before the start of the World War I, there were already 60,000 Armenians in the US. [208] Kirk Kerkorian, known as "the father of the megaresort",[209] was claimed to be the richest man in Los Angeles prior to his death in 2015. [200], Perhaps the best-known American athlete of Armenian descent is tennis player, former no. Notable Americans of Armenian descent include reality television star Kim Kardashian, who is perhaps the most famous American of Armenian descent. [160] The metal band System of a Down is composed of four Armenian members of the diaspora: Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, and John Dolmayan. In 1959, at the First Grammys he won 2 awards: Best Recording for Children and Best Comedy Performance. Yousuf Karsh: Photographer Armenian-American Vahan Boyajian, born in Hussenig, Kharpert, was one of these Gamavor Zinvors. [210] Born to Armenian parents in Fresno, Kerkorian had provided over $1 billion for charity in Armenia through his Lincy Foundation. [37], The first Armenian arrived in California in 1874 and settled in Fresno. [117] Furthermore, Western and Eastern Armenian use two different spellings. [7], The Armenian Apostolic Church is the oldest national church in the world, and had a major role in protecting the Armenian identity through the centuries of foreign domination. Most didn’t survive. It accelerated in the late 1980s and has continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 due to socio-economic and political reasons. [14] Before this mass migration to the US, the number of Armenians in the country was from 1,500 to 3,000.[15][16][17]. Joe Simitian had been a California State Senator since 2004,[185] while Paul Krekorian was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2010 from District 2, where the Armenian population of Los Angeles is concentrated. [143], Homenetmen, an Armenian Revolutionary Federation-affiliated sports organization, is very active in the United States, also engaged in scouting. These developments refocused the priorities of the Armenian Church in America. [121][122], According to the 2000 US Census there were 385,488 ethnic Armenians living in the US, and 202,708 people identified Armenian as 'Language Spoken at Home'. A spirit of renewed vigor was embodied by Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, who governed the diocese as primate from 1966 to 1990. The city is also widely known as the birthplace of William Saroyan, many of whose stories are set there. [185] George Deukmejian became the Republican governor of California in 1983 and left the office in 1991. This tumult caused massive Armenian immigration to America in three waves. At that time it was very difficult to find in internet any content about Armenia and its history. Charles Aznavour was an Armenian-French … Therefore, individuals exist who are not acculturated at all to the dominant American culture, as well as those who have chosen to separate from the Armenian community and acculturate completely, and many who are in the middle of acculturation spectrum. Takooshian, Harold. [6] This wave of newcomers revitalized the Armenian American community, especially in the Los Angeles area,[31] where most second-wave Armenian immigrants settled. [140] A small number of Armenian Americans are followers of the Armenian Catholic Church. The Armenian presence in Latin America has a relatively young history. 51. Diasporan history has been transformed by the Republic: nowhere is this more strongly felt than in America. [53], The first Armenian Sunday school in the US was founded in the late 1880s in New York by Barsegh Vardukyan. The largest community is based in Los Angeles; however, other sizeable communities exist in Boston, Detroit and the New York metropolitan area. [32] In 1970 about 65,000 Armenians resided in Southern California, and two decades later, in 1989, the number of Armenian Americans was estimated at 200,000. As English quickly becomes the second language of the new republic, Armenians in America feel closer to the homeland, suffering Armenia's tragedies and rejoicing in its successes. Nobar Pasha, first prime minister of Egypt. [8], During the Civil War three Armenian doctors—Simeon Minasian, Garabed Galstian, and Baronig Matevosian—worked at military hospitals in Philadelphia. [101] Watertown, Massachusetts is the center of Boston Armenians, where according to estimates about 8,000 people of Armenian origin reside,[102][103] though the 2000 Census put the number only at 2,708. [5][6] A few other Armenians are recorded as having come to the US in the 17th and 18th centuries, but most moved as individuals and did not establish communities. [20] Like Italians, for whom this practice was known as campanilismo, Armenian communities were often formed by people from the same village or town in the Ottoman Empire. [50] According to the 2000 Census 9,884 Armenians lived in Fresno County at the time. His son Dr. Edgar Housepian was a neurosurgeon, educator, and co-founder of the Fund for Armenian Relief. Previously he had served as State Assemblyman (1963–1967), State Senator (1967–1979) and California Attorney General (1979–1983). [123], A 2007 study showed that 16% of Armenians born in Lebanon, 29% in Armenia (including Soviet Armenia), 31% in Iran and 36% in Turkey are not proficient in English. The states of New York and Massachusetts were top destinations for Armenian immigrants in the early 20th century. [6] Most of the post-World War I immigrants were women and children, in contrast to the prewar immigration, which was predominantly young and male. Ivan Aivazovsky. In the field of the contemporary art and performance, some notable American artist of Armenian heritage include Nina Katchadourian, Eric Bogosian, Tabboo! The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is known for its financial support and promotion of Armenian culture and Armenian language schools. Varazdat Kazanjian was an Armenian-American oral surgeon who is known as the founder of plastic surgery. [5][6] In 1653–54, two Armenians from Constantinople were invited to Virginia to raise silk worms. By the 1770s over 70 Armenians had settled in the colonies. Today, it brings together more than 6,000 athletes from 300 teams, 2,000 scouts. [18] This period witnessed cultural contact between American and Armenian through Armenian nationalist dissident organizations within the Ottoman Empire and intense activity of American missionaries in the region who were sympathetic to the Armenian cause,[19] making the long road of migration somewhat more bearable. David Kherdian (Heyday, 2007), Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), History of the Armenian Americans in Los Angeles, most populous Armenian communities outside of Armenia, List of Armenian schools in the United States, United States resolution on Armenian Genocide, Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, List of American politicians of Armenian descent, Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States of America and Canada, Armenian Church Youth Organization of America, Armenian Youth Federation United States Chapters, "2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates", "WikiLeaks: U.S. The Istanbul pogrom in 1955 frightened the local Turkish Armenian population, which looked to the West for a safe and more prosperous life. The Armenian American community is the most politically influential community of the Armenian diaspora. Many Armenians think that the US has the ability to force Turkey to recognize the past and pay Armenians and Armenia their reparations, that includes (for some) the return of the so-called Wilsonian Armenia to the Republic of Armenia. [130] It possesses over 90 churches throughout the nation. [29], The 15-year-long Lebanese Civil War that started in 1975 and the Iranian revolution of 1979 greatly contributed to the influx of Middle Eastern Armenians to the US. "[111] Today, they number about 22,000. [98], Stepan Zadori, a Hungarian Armenian, is the first known Armenian to come to Boston, The Armenian community in Boston was not founded until the 1880s. American-born author William Saroyan, a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner who was certainly no stranger to mainstream American culture, wrote in one of his many memoirs that “Armenians were considered inferior” and were “hated” in his hometown. Hairenik (Հայրենիք, "Fatherland") is published since 1899 in Boston. Queens is home to some 50,000 Armenian Americans, Manhattan has 10,000 Armenian population centered in Gramercy Park, Kips Bay and Murray Hill, where St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral is. [137] The 1988 Spitak earthquake and the Karabakh movement brought the separate groups of the Armenian community together. The first recorded Armenian to visit North America was Martin the Armenian from Iran. Daron Acemoglu, a Turkish-born economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the most cited economists in the world. This was followed in 1915-1920 by the government-orchestrated genocide of a million more Armenians during World War I. [47][48] A 1990 University of California, Los Angeles study showed that by education and occupation, native-born and Iranian-born Armenians "tend to have the highest socioeconomic status... while those from Turkey have the lowest", although Turkish Armenians boast the highest rate of self-employment. Many of those who did came to America. [138] The middle 1950s saw an uptick in immigration and a building boom of Armenian churches, with new communities proliferating across the US. [125], Early Armenian immigrants were one of the most literate ethnic groups to enter the US with 76% literacy. [99] Chicago's Armenians also first settled in the city in the late 19th century in small numbers, but it increased through the 20th century,[112] reaching about 25,000 by today. According to the Bureau of Immigration, 54,057 Armenians entered the US between 1899 and 1917. [127] Since the 1960s many Armenian bilingual schools have been established in communities throughout the country. Long a persecuted Christian minority in a crumbling Islamic empire, Armenians suffered three spasms of ethnic cleansing by the Ottomans. The first Armenian-language newspaper in the US, named Aregak (Արեգակ, "Sun"), was published in Jersey City in 1888. The first Armenian Apostolic church in America, named Church of Our Savior, was built in 1891 in Worcester. The number of Armenians who migrated to the US from 1820 to 1898 is estimated to be around 4,000. The German ethnographer Caroline Thon puts their number at 800,000,[60] a number also offered by Dr. Harold Takooshian of Fordham University. [4] Organizations such as Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Armenian Assembly of America advocate for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States government and support stronger Armenia–United States relations. [50], Armenians from Lebanon, where they had effectively established an active community, are more politicized,[51] while Turkish Armenians are mostly connected with the Armenian Apostolic Church. [8] Both are affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. [74] Fresno and the Central Valley in general were the center of California Armenian community, but in the later decades, especially since the 1960s, when significant number of Middle Eastern Armenians arrived in the US, Southern California attracted more and more Armenians. [75], Los Angeles and the surrounding area is, by far, the most crowded Armenian community in the US. [187] Harry Tutunjian was the Republican mayor of Troy, New York from 2003 to 2012. [27] The total number of Soviet Armenian emigrants from 1956 to 1989, over 80% of them to the US, is estimated at 77,000. For comparison, about 6% of Italian Americans, 32% of Greek Americans and 70% of Albanian Americans speak their ancestral language. Several official US documents describe the events as "genocide" (1975,[150][151] 1984,[152] 1996);[153] President Ronald Reagan also described the events as "genocide" in a speech on 22 April 1981. [88] Other than Glendale and Los Angeles proper, significant Armenian populations reside in Burbank (8,312), Pasadena (4,400), Montebello (2,736), Altadena (2,134), La Crescenta-Montrose (1,382). Immigrants were asked to indicate which state they were going to settle in; for Armenians, the most popular answers were New York (17,391), Massachusetts (14,192), Rhode Island (4,923), Illinois (3,313), California (2,564), New Jersey (2,115), Pennsylvania (2,002), Michigan (1,371). Reality TV show star Kim Kardashian[166] is a controversial figure among Armenians. Since the turn of the century there been a trend towards an increase in number of Armenians living outside of traditional settlement areas. Her father Robert Kardashian was from Armenia. [20] Once in America, some Armenians organized political parties to serve various causes in America and in the homeland. [9] The only Armenian known to have participated in hostilities was Khachadour Paul Garabedian, who enlisted in the Union Navy. [5] He later worked for the New York Herald Tribune and became the New York Press Club president. "[93][94][95], Since the 19th century the first Armenians appeared in New York. As the largest and most prosperous community in the world, as inheritors of a Protestant American work ethic, coupled with American self-righteousness, Armenian Americans feel they have a special role in the survival and success of the new state. [10], The number of Armenians rose from 20 in 1854 to around 70 by the 1870s. [185], Paul Robert Ignatius served as the US Secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969 in the Lyndon Johnson's administration. the initiation of a project to build an Armenian cathedral in Manhattan and the entry of the Armenian Church into the ecumenical movement. The highest concentration of Americans of Armenian descent is in the Greater Los Angeles area, where 166,498 people have identified themselves as Armenian to the 2000 Census, comprising over 40% of the 385,488 people who identified Armenian origins in the US at the time. Tennis. [104] Worcester, Massachusetts was also a major center for Armenian immigrants in the early part of the twentieth century. The overwhelming majority of Armenian-speakers lived in California (155,237). [119] According to the 1980 US Census 100,634 people in the nation spoke Armenian, 69,995 of them were foreign-born. Armenians in the US have attained success and prominence in diverse areas, including business, politics, entertainment, sciences, sports and the arts. The Armenian National Institute lists 30 Armenian Genocide memorials in the US. [67] The Armenian National Committee of America,[68] The Armenian Weekly,[69] The Armenian Reporter,[70] and Reuters offer the highest number, at around 1,500,000 Armenian Americans. The early Armenian immigrants in Detroit were mostly laborers. His acting career spanned over 6 decades. and North Hollywood. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 allowed people displaced during the World War II to immigrate to the US. The rate is lower for foreign-born Armenians. Andrea Martin, comedian and film and television actor, best known as a regular on the Canadian television comedy show, SCTV and as Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, is from a paternal and maternal, Armenian-American family. During the 1933 World's Fair, Leon Tourian, the primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, refused to give a speech because the Armenian tricolor of the 1918-1920 Republic was hanging behind him, while Etchmiadzin, the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians, was in Armenia that was then part of the Soviet Union and used a different flag. There has been sporadic emigration from Armenia to the U.S. since the late 19th century, with the biggest influx coming after the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century. Raymond Vahan Damadian - Armenian-American - Inventor of the MRI - born in Forest Hills, NY 1936. The top states with Armenian church followers were Massachusetts, Michigan, California and New York. Over 12,000 Armenians from the Ottoman Empire went to the US throughout the 1890s. The large-scale emigration of Soviet Armenians, mainly to Western countries, began in 1956. [27] From 1944 to 1952, 4,739 Armenians migrated to the US,[13] many with the help of George Mardikian's American National Committee to Aid Homeless Armenians (ANCHA).[28]. He is also known for Reagan's characterization of 1915 events as "genocide" in 1981. Sebouh (Steve) Tashjian, a California Armenian originally from Jerusalem, served as Minister of Energy, while Lebanese-born Gerard Libaridian, a Boston-based historian, was President Levon Ter-Petrosyan's adviser. [6] Mashdots College in Glendale, founded in 1992, is the only Armenian higher education institution in the country. [157] The oldest one is Montebello Genocide Memorial, which was completed in 1965. [5] Before 1899, immigrants were not classified by ethnicity, but rather by country of birth, obscuring the ethnic origins of many Armenians. Armenian-born singers that have lived or live in the US include rock singer pop singers Harout Pamboukjian[164] and Armenchik.[165]. [45], According to the 2000 US Census, there were 385,488 Americans of Armenian ancestry at that time. [198], Several major figures in the Armenian national liberation movement of the early 20th century lived and/or died in the US. [46] The main subgroups of foreign-born Armenian Americans are Hayastantsis (Armenians from Armenia), Parskayes (Armenians from Iran) and Beirutsis (Armenians from Beirut, Lebanon). According to Shawn Dorman, the author of Inside a U.S. embassy, the main goal of Armenian lobby is the "persuasion of US Congress to favor Armenian interests, especially to recognize the Armenian Genocide." [23] An unprecedented number of Armenians entered the country in 1920, when the newly-established Soviet Union forcefully annexed the First Republic of Armenia,[20] but the Immigration Act of 1924 that restricted immigration from southern and eastern Europe as well as Asia barred many other Armenians from emigrating to the US. The highest concentrations of Americans of Armenian ancestry are in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. [126] As of 2007, 41% of US-born Armenians had at least a 4-year college degree. Foe And College Basketball Force, Dies", "Armenian Wrestler Named As New WWE Champion", "Robert Zildjian Dead: Founder of Sabian Cymbal Company Dies at 89", "Kirk Kerkorian is not offended by Armenia", "Christmas Tree Shops founder Charles Bilezikian remembered as friendly to all", Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Births of U.S. states and territories by race/ethnicity, Race and ethnicity in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,, American people of Middle Eastern descent, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles with dead external links from April 2020, Articles with dead external links from May 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Armenian-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Armenian American Health Professionals Organization, Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research. [141] In 1990 there were 6 Armenian Catholic Churches in the United States.[140]. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most Armenians immigrated to New England for one horrific reason: genocide. Raffi Hovannisian, a Fresno-born third-generation Armenian American lawyer, moved to Armenia in 1991 and soon was appointed the first Foreign Minister of Armenia, where he remained until 1992. She then claims that "it had significant role in the United States providing financial support to Armenia. Andre Agassi. [194] Another Marine Captain, Victor Maghakian is considered one of the most decorated American soldiers of the war. [99] Today, estimates say that Armenians number from 50,000 to 70,000 in the Greater Boston area. Of the 339,732 Armenian Americans who are 25 or above, 26% are with a college degree, and 26,1% hold a bachelor's degree. By the late 1880s, their number reached 1,500. [53], Armenian American criminal organizations have received widespread media attention, such as during the 2010 Medicaid fraud. [188] Diplomat Edward Djerejian was the US ambassador in Syria then Israel in the 1990s. 'We want more': Armenians in America push Trump administration to support homeland By Daphne Psaledakis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hasmik Burushyan has not lived in Armenia, but like many young Armenian-Americans in her California city, she feels a strong connection to her ancestral land and a deep concern for what could happen next in an escalating conflict with Azerbaijan. Statistics from the United States 2000 Census, 385,488 Americans indicated either full or partial Armenian ancestry. Activist groups, some lawmakers and arguably the most famous Armenian-American - reality TV star Kim Kardashian West - have been calling for the United States to take a stronger stance by blaming Azerbaijan for the hostilities and cutting U.S. military assistance to the country. Armenian migration towards Latin America took place mostly between the 1920s and 1950s. [78] Just eleven years later, the 2011 American Community Survey one-year estimates put the number of Armenians in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area 214,618, about 29% growth from 2000. A generation of leaders born in America also began to exert itself. Eastern Armenian is primarily spoken in Armenia and Iran, though the Iranian Armenians have their own dialect; in the United States, speakers of Eastern Armenian are primarily immigrants from the former Soviet Union who mostly arrived during the 1990s, or their children. [84][85][86] According to the 2000 Census 53,840 people or 27% of the population identified themselves Armenian in Glendale. Asbarez (Ասպարէզ, "Arena") is the only daily, published in Los Angeles since 1908. [172] Syria-born Hrag Vartanian is the founder and editor-in-chief of the art journal Hyperallergic.[173]. [203] Former WWE and ROH World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, is of Armenian descent on his father's side. [22] In 1916 there were 34 Armenian parishes with 27,450 members with a predominantly male population. "Armenian Americans. With the exception of Fresno, California, which had land suitable for farming, the earliest Armenian immigrants mostly settled in the northeastern industrial centers, such as New York City, Providence, Worcester, and Boston. [80][87] Glendale also home to the highest percentage of people born in Armenia. From 1992 to 2010 the US provided nearly $2 billion, the highest per capita amount for a post-Soviet state. The conflict reached a crisis on 24 December 1933, when several members of ARF assassinated Archbishop Tourian during the Christmas Eve service in New York's Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church. [212] Christmas Tree Shops, a chain of small stores, was founded by Charles Bilezikian and his wife. Armenian Evangelical form the second largest denomination among Armenian Americans, with 1 out of 10 being a follower. In Massachusetts, George Keverian served as a representative in the State House, eventually becoming its speaker from 1985 to 1991. Many lived in luxury in their former countries, and more easily handled multilingualism, while retaining aspects of traditional Armenian culture. [177][178], Christina Maranci is the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architecture at Tufts University. Numerous Armenian musicians have been successful in American pop culture. Some movement towards Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina is recorded in the 19th century and early 20th century, but most Armenians ended up in that part of the world after the genocide. About 40% came from the Province of Kharpert. [37][116] About 2/3 of Armenians speakers call Los Angeles County home. [132] Many Armenian communities in the country are concentrated around churches that serve as community centers.

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