Steve Jobs and Jerry Seinfeld have more in common than a love of round glasses: they both have Syrian heritage. Many other Americans are descendants of Syrian immigrants, a fact that's often been ignored in recent days after news that a bomber in the deadly Paris attacks held a Syrian passport.
A recent poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that 52 percent of Americans said accepting Syrian refugees would make the country "less safe." But if it hadn't been for Syrian immigrants, America would not have been home to Jobs, Seinfeld and plenty of other household names. Here's a look at the Syrian roots of many famous Americans.
Steve Jobs: His last name might not sound like a typical Arabic name, but that's because Jobs was adopted by an American couple at birth. His biological father, Abdulfattah Jandali, was born in 1931 and grew up in Homs, Syria. He eventually left in the 1950s to study at the American University in Beirut and then at the University of Wisconsin, where he met Jobs' biological mother. The brilliant Apple co-founder was born in 1955 and died in 2011.
Mona Simpson: An award-winning novelist, Simpson is Jobs' biological sister, and thus also of Syrian descent.
Jerry Seinfeld: This famous comedian and producer was born in 1954 in Brooklyn, New York, to Kalman Seinfeld and his wife Betty, born Betty Hesney. Her father Selim Hosni, immigrated to the U.S. via Ellis Island in 1909 at the age of 26. The following year, his wife Salha joined him, making the long journey from Aleppo, Syria. They were Jewish, and claimed to have Turkish nationality, the New York Times reported in 2009.
F. Murray Abraham: The respected actor, who won an Academy Award for his lead role in the film "Amadeus," is half Syrian.
Mitch Daniels: A former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University, Daniels is a descendant of Syrian immigrants on his father's side. His paternal grandfather, Elias Esau Daniels, left Syria and arrived at Ellis Island in 1905. Daniels has talked about publicly about his heritage.
Rosemary Barkett: She was the first woman to serve as a justice for the Florida Supreme Court and was also its first female Chief Justice. Her parents were Syrian, and initially moved to Mexico, where Barkett was born, before immigrating to the United States.
Paula Abdul: This singer-songwriter, who is a dual Canadian-American citizen, was born in 1962 in California. Her father was Harry Abdul, a Syrian Jew born in Aleppo, Syria before being raised in Brazil and eventually moving to the United States.
Teri Hatcher: This Desperate Housewives star is a quarter Syrian, through her half-Syrian mother, Esther Beshur.