Earl Tupper (1907-1983)
> Occupation: Inventor
> Year citizenship renounced: Early 1960s
Those plastic containers of last night’s spaghetti and last week’s fajitas are the brainchild of Earl Tupper, the inventor of Tupperware. He came up with the idea for the airtight plastic containers during WWII, using a block of polyethylene provided by DuPont. Tupper called his creation the “wonderbowl.” In 1958, he sold the company to Justin Dart of the Rexall Drug Company for $16 million. Tupper eventually moved to Costa Rica and renounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)
> Occupation: Writer/civil rights activist
> Year citizenship renounced: 1963
W.E.B. Du Bois, an African-American sociologist, author,, and civil rights activist who espoused Pan-Africanism, moved to Ghana in 1961 at age 93 to manage the Encyclopedia Africana project. The U.S. State Department refused to renew his passport while he was living there, so Du Bois chose to naturalize as a citizen of Ghana in 1963. He died on Aug. 27, 1963, and his passing was noted the next day when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his history-making “I Have a Dream” speech.
John Huston (1906-1987)
> Occupation: Filmmaker
> Year citizenship renounced: 1964
John Huston, the Academy Award-winning director (“The Treasure of Sierra Madre”) whose notable films include “The Maltese Falcon” “Key Largo,” and “The Asphalt Jungle,” emigrated to Ireland in 1952 in protest over the activities of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1964 to become an Irish citizen.
Yul Brynner (1920-1985)
> Occupation: Actor
> Year citizenship renounced: 1965
Russian-born Yul Brynner, famed for his roles as the Siamese monarch in “The King and I,” and the vengeful pharaoh in “The Ten Commandments,” was a dual citizen of Switzerland and the United States, though he lived outside the U.S. for most of his adult life. Brynner claimed tax-exempt status in the U.S. by working on short projects that didn’t subject him to American tax law. The U.S. government disagreed and wanted to impose penalties that probably would have bankrupted him. To avoid the tax hit, he renounced his U.S. citizenship.
Maria Callas (1923-1977)
> Occupation: Opera singer
> Year citizenship renounced: 1966
Opera diva Maria Callas, who was a naturalized American citizen, chose to renounce her U.S. citizenship to resume her ancestral Greek citizenship. She chose to do so in part to get out of her marriage to Italian industrialist Gianni Meneghini. News reports at the time said Callas had tried to obtain a divorce for seven years. It was during that period that she was having an affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Callas said that according to her lawyers, by taking Greek nationality, her marriage would become “non-existent” everywhere, except in Italy.
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