Last updated on: 8/20/2009 | Author:

Ellis Island Foundation Biography

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“In 1982, President Ronald Reagan asked Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, to head a private sector effort to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) was founded.

The Foundation’s fundraising drive sparked a dramatic response. The American people contributed more than $500 million (and counting!) to the repair, restoration, and maintenance of these two great monuments to freedom. All funds for the Foundation’s projects have come from the American people – no government funds have been used…

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. was incorporated on November 19, 1981 as a not-for-profit corporation primarily to raise funds and oversee the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and celebrate the centennials of each. The National Park Service, a unit of the United States Department of the Interior, operates both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and has accepted grants pursuant to an agreement dated October 14, 1983 with the Foundation for restoration and preservation of these monuments. The Foundation is exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. “

“About the Foundations,” (accessed Aug. 20, 2009)


“The mission of the Foundation is to restore and preserve the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which includes, in addition to the Statue itself, Ellis Island and its Museum of Immigration; Custody and control of records, relics and other things of historic interest related to the Statue of Liberty and the millions of immigrants who entered the United Stats via Ellis Island; To foster, promote and stimulate public knowledge of and interest in the history of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.”

“Governance,” (accessed Aug. 20, 2009)

501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation