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     Immigrants Hall of Fame

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Eugene Rabinowitch (1901-   )
      Chemist who worked on the development of the first United States atomic bomb, 1944-46. Taught at MIT and at University of Illinois. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He helped found and became editor of the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist." Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) Pianist, composer, conductor. "Prelude in C sharp Minor" is typical of his Romantic, melodic compositions. Another of his masterpieces was "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini." Born in Novgorod, Russia. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Rachmaninoff settled in the United States. Became a U.S. citizen in 1943.

       Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
     Pianist, composer, conductor. "Prelude in C Sharp Minor" is typical of his Romantic, melodic compositions. Another of his masterpieces was "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini." Born in Novgorod, Russia. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Rachmaninoff settled in the United States. He became a U.S. citizen in 1943 and died in Beverly Hills.

Fritz Reiner (1888-1963)
Opera and symphony orchestra conductor, specializing in music by Richard Strauss. Born in Budapest, Hungary. Came to the U.S. in 1922 as conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. Became a U.S. citizen in 1928. Reiner was a conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970)
Novelist who wrote "All Quiet on the Western Front" in 1929. It’s the tragic story of a group of young German soldiers in World War I. A motion picture version was made in 1930. Born in Westphalia, Germany. He served in the German army during W.W. I. When the Nazis came to power they banned his books as pacifistic and revoked his citizenship. Came to the U.S. in 1939, became a citizen in 1947.

Hyman George Rickover (1900-1986)
Naval officer who directed the development and construction of the world’s first nuclear-powered ships. He has been called the "father of the atomic submarine." Rickover’s unorthodox fight for nuclear-powered ships created resentment toward him in the Navy. Twice he was almost forced to retire, but both times pressure from Congress resulted in his promotion. Born in Russia, grew up in Chicago. He was a graduate of the U.s. Naval Academy. The first atomic-powered ship, the USS Nautilus, was launched in 1954.

Jacob Augustus Riis (1849-1914)
     Social worker and author. His campaign to remedy slum conditions in New York City was aided by his friend Theodore Roosevelt. Aroused by his experience as a police reporter on a newspaper, he established the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood House. Born in Denmark, came to the U.S. in 1870. "The Making of an American" is his autobiography.

                   Knute Rockne (1888-1931)
Football player and coach who made the University of Notre Dame into one of the greatest football powers in the country. Although he is remembered primarily as a coach, he made his biggest impact on the sport as a player. In 1913, as a receiver, he and quarterback Gus Dorais made the forward pass an offensive weapon. As a coach (1918-30), Rockne tallied 105 wins, 12 losses, and 5 ties, an 89.7 percent winning average, the best record of any college coach. His inspirational half-time speeches ("Let's win one for the Gipper.") have become part of the Rockne legend.
      Born in Norway, came to the U.S. in 1893. Rockne died in a plane crash shortly after his 43d birthday. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

John Augustus Roebling (1806-1869)
Civil engineer who invented and manufactured steel cable -- which he used to build suspension bridges. Born in Prussia, Germany. Came to the U.S. in 1831. At first this form of construction was considered unsafe by most engineers. In 1867 he was chosen to build a bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. Roebling died while still planning it. But his son Washington Roebling would complete the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.

O.E. Rolvaag (1876-1931)
Novelist who wrote "Giants in the Earth," the classic story about Norwegian immigrants battling the elements and the loneliness in the Dakotas. Born in Helgeland, Norway. Came to the U.S. in 1896 to work on his uncle’s farm in South Dakota. From 1906 to 1931, Rolvaag was professor of Norwegian at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951)
     Composer of operettas, such as "Student Prince," "Maytime," and "The Desert Song." Some of his most popular songs were "Lover Come Back to Me," and "Stouthearted Men." Born in Hungary. Came to the U.S. in 1939 and at first played piano in New York cafes.

Bruno Rossi (1905-   )
Physicist who made important discoveries about the penetrating power and physical properties of cosmic rays. Born in Venice, Italy. Came to U.S. in 1939. He taught at the University of Chicago, Cornell, and MIT.

Artur Rubenstein (1886-1982)
Concert pianist known for his interpretations of Chopin, Brahms, and Spanish composers. Through his recordings, Rubenstein popularized the works of such modern composers as Villa-Lobos. Born in Poland. After serving as an interpreter for the Allies during World War I, Rubenstein resumed his concert tours throughout Europe, South American and the United States. Became a U.S. citizen in 1946.

John Brown Russwurm (1799-1851)
     Journalist and administrator. He was probably the first American college graduate who publicly acknowledged that he was of Negro descent. Born in Jamaica, the son of a white American and a native black woman. Grew up in Maine. Graduated from Bowdoin College. In 1827 Russwurm established one of the first Black-American newspapers.






"Give me some men
who are stouthearted men,
 who will fight for the rights
 they adore."
   Sidney Romberg