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15 Largest American Companies Founded by Immigrants

15 Largest American Companies Founded by Immigrants

Why Immigration Is The Backbone Of American Innovation

Magazine, Making Money

America’s immigrants have made a mountain of contributions to the country and the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of business. It is estimated that nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or first-generation Americans who fulfilled the dreams of their parents when they immigrated to the United States in search of a better life, as so many others had done before them. Take a look at the list below to know about the 15 largest companies that were founded by immigrants. 


Born to a Syrian immigrant, Steve Jobs founded Apple. No one knew that the son of a refugee could grow a business on a large scale with names like iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Apple is one of the most profitable companies right now.


Alexander Graham Bell founded AT&T in 1876 after the invention of the Telephone. This company was initially known as Bell Systems. It is now the leading telecommunications provider in America. 

Bell was born in Scotland, who first moved to Canada from the United Kingdom in 1870, and then to Boston, the United States in 187. He got US citizenship in 1882. 


Pierre Omidyar was born to Iranian parents in France. Later he moved to America and made a significant impact on the eCommerce history of America by founding eBay. The marketplace is now worth more than $38 billion.


Russian immigrant Stephan Pachikov has developed a famous communication, workflow, and organization app known as Evernote. This platform attracts more than 200 million users monthly.


Fenty Beauty & Fenty Skin is the largest American cosmetics brand that was launched in 2017 by Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The company is currently valued at $2.8 billion. Rihanna, the iconic American singer and the founder of this rapidly growing brand was born in Barbados, who moved to the United States in 2005 for the release of her first music album. 

Goldman Sachs

Marcus Goldman was a Bavarian immigrant to America who opened a global investment bank named Goldman Sachs. It is one of the most successful banks in America.


Sergey Brin, a Russian origin American, founded Google with other fellow Stanford students. He is vocal about immigration policies and runs the second-largest valuable brand worth billions of dollars.


In 2004, Brazil native Mike Krieger and his fellow Kevin Systrom created one of the most famous social networking websites – Instagram. This platform houses 800 million monthly users.


Kohl’s is an immigrant from Poland who first started his departmental store in 1962. Later the store evolved and became a chain of more than 137,000 employees and worth $10.1 billion.


Ray Kroc, a son of Czech immigrants, founded McDonald’s in his 50s. After that, McDonald’s became the global leader and trademark in restaurant chains and fast food. It has a worth of nearly $129.9 billion.


The pharmaceutical giant, globally renowned for its biological medicines and vaccines, was founded by German-American cousins Charles Erhart and Charles Pfizer. It is now worth $207.7 billion.


Dr. Andrew Viterbi, along with like-minded people, founded Qualcomm. It is a semiconductor manufacturing giant with a massive use in Android chips. The company is worth $81.9 billion currently.

Viterbi is an Italian immigrant who was born to a Jewish family in Bergamo, Italy. He was just four when his family moved to the United States. 


Sanjay Mehrotra is an Indian immigrant who founded the SanDisk startup along with his three partners. This storage solution company has now grown into a $15.2 billion giant.


Tesla has revolutionized the auto industry with its self-driven and electric cars. It was founded by South African-American, Elon Musk in 2003. Now it is worth more than $20.8 billion while increasing new projects.

Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney founded the Walt Disney Company, which led to one of the most influential brands in American history. The company is worth $152.1 billion as a global network. Disney was born to Irish immigrant parents in the rural area of Bluevale, Canada. 


Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang, who is a Taiwanese immigrant. Currently, the company is one of the top websites to host mail and search engine queries.


Most economists agree that entrepreneurship plays a critical role in economic growth and job creation, and immigrants play a crucial role in the establishment of American companies. On the other hand, immigrants in the US are known for kicking off successful startups and establishing the largest companies. 

They, in the words of Qualcomm’s founder Andrew Viterbi, “believe in giving back.” Yet the immigration policy remains frozen amid a pace of business formation near a four-decade low – creating a major disconnect between economics and politics. So, to reap the economic benefits of immigration, it is the dire need of the hour to reform the US immigration policy. 

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