Ellis Island Medal of Honor

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an American award founded by the Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) (formerly known as National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) until Fall of 2017[1])[2] which are presented annually to American citizens, both native-born and naturalized.

The Medal recognizes — in the organization's words —

individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate, their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity. They do so while acknowledging their debt to their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.

Past medalists include seven U.S. presidents, several world leaders,[3] several Nobel Prize winners, and other leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life's work.


EIHS was founded in 1984, and the medals were established in 1986; a ceremony is held each May on Ellis Island.[4] All branches of the United States Armed Forces traditionally participate. Both the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year's recipients are read into the Congressional Record.[5] The Ellis Island's Great Hall where immigrants were once processed hosts the gala dinner and ceremony. Approximately 100 medalists are honored each year.

Notable medalists

Notable medalists include:[6]


  1. "About Us". Ellis Island Honors Society. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  2. "Global Hotelier, Abdul Suleman, Awarded 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor". BusinessWire. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  3. "Prince Albert of Monaco Honored at Ellis Island, With Rita Moreno and Larry Gagosian". Observer. May 14, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  4. Congressional Record, V. 148, PT. 3, March 11, 2002 to April 10, 2002. U S Congress. April 9, 2002. p. 4038.
  5. "Congressional Record – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  6. "Ellis Island Medal of Honor Database". Ellis Island Honors Society. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  7. "Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 84 (Wednesday, June 6, 2012)". GPO. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  8. "Ellis Island Medals of Honor Awards Ceremony". Congressional Record Online. Government Publishing Office. June 22, 1999. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Congratulations to our 2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients Archived September 9, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, eihonors.org
  11. "The 22nd Annual Celebration of the International Day of Older Persons "Longevity Shapes the Future"" (PDF). United Nations NGO Committee on Aging. October 10, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  12. "Liberty Dialysis Physicians Fahim Rahim and Naeem Rahim to Receive Ellis Island National Medals of Honor for Their Contribution to Achievements in Dialysis and Kidney Care". Reuters. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  13. Aswad, Jem (May 13, 2019). "Universal Music's Will Tanous Receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor". Variety. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
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