Haiti’s Hometown Heroes

A look in pictures at Haitians who have enriched America with their talents.

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  • Wyclef Jean

    Wyclef Jean

    Co-founder of The Fugees and ubiquitous producer Wyclef Jean has been a long-time champion for charities and relief organizations in his native, Haiti.  He has an organization called Yele Haiti that enabled supporters to donate $5 through a text message.

  • Edwidge Danticat

    Edwidge Danticat

    Haitian native Edwidge Danticat is a celebrated writer whose Breath, Eyes, Memory has been an Oprah Book Club selection. She has written moving novels about being Haitian and about the Haitian-American experience.

  • Reginald Fils-Aimé

    Reginald Fils-Aimé

    Reginald Fils-Aimé led Nintendo to roaring success with the Wii and was promoted from senior marketing VP to president and CEO of the Japanese game giant’s American unit.

  • Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon

    Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon

    She was “Fancy,” on the now-syndicated Jamie Foxx Show and a prosecutor on NYPD Blue. The Haitian-born actress started as a fashion model and appeared in Ebony, Essence and Playboy.

  • Raoul Peck

    Raoul Peck

    Haiti’s best-known film director, Peck directed the award-winning features Lumumba and Man on the Shore. He also made Sometimes in April, about the genocide in Rwanda, for HBO.

  • Claudette Werleigh

    Claudette Werleigh

    Werleigh was the first female prime minister of Haiti. She studied in the United States and Switzerland and currently serves as the secretary general of Pax Christi International. She was born in Cap-Haitien.

  • Jonathan Vilma

    Jonathan Vilma

    New Orleans Saint middle linebacker Vilma has learned that no one in his family in Haiti was harmed in the earthquake.

  • Pierre Garcon

    Pierre Garcon

    Indianapolis Colts receiver Garcon has received news that his some family members in Haiti survived the earthquake; but others were still missing.

  • Jozy Altidore

    Jozy Altidore

    Born to Haitian parents in Florida, Altidore is reported to have lost two uncles in the Haitian earthquake. The 20-year-old soccer player is headed to the World Cup with the U.S. national team.

  • Jamie Hector

    Jamie Hector

    Haitian-born actor Jamie Hector is best known for his role as Marlo Stanfield on the HBO series, The Wire.

  • Andre Berto

    Andre Berto

    Berto, a Haitian-American boxer and WBC welterweight champion, was born in Miami but represented Haiti in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Basquiat went from graffiti artist to international art star in a New York minute. Of Puerto Rican and Haitian descent, his comet flamed out in 1988 when he was just 28.

  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot

    Michel-Rolph Trouillot

    Anthropologist, University of Chicago Professor and nephew of Haitian historian Henock Trouillot, Michel is an international author.

  • Samuel Dalembert

    Samuel Dalembert

    According to reports, Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert was the only Haitian-born NBA player to personally donate to UNICEF and to pledge to match donations made by fans at his team’s Jan. 15 game.

  • Georges Laraque

    Georges Laraque

    Montreal Canadiens hockey player Laraque’s immediate family was in Haiti when the earthquake hit. He told a Canadian newspaper that the next few months would be difficult as the world learns the depth of the impact.

  • Susan Fales-Hill

    Susan Fales-Hill

    Susan Fales-Hill is a writer and producer whose credits include A Different World and The Cosby Show. Her mother was Haitian.

  • Maxwell


    Maxwell has dedicated the home page of his Web site to Haitian relief efforts. The Grammy-nominated singer is Haitian and Puerto Rican.

  • Patrick Gaspard

    Patrick Gaspard

    The director of the Office of Political Affairs for President Obama was born in Haiti. He waited anxiously to hear from many family members after the earthquake.

  • Daniel Bernard Roumain

    Daniel Bernard Roumain

    Roumain is a Haitian-American composer and violinist who has fused jazz and classical music.

  • Jimmy Jean-Louis

    Jimmy Jean-Louis

    NBC’s Heroes star Jimmy Jean-Louis’s character was the sinister “Haitian” who made people forget. Jean-Louis was relieved to learn that both his mother and father survived the devastating earthquake.