Notable American expatriates
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The phenomenon and image of Americans living abroad is significantly associated with certain cultural movements, particularly literature, in which these expatriate individuals and communities were portrayed. Some prime examples are American literary notables who lived in Paris in the 1920s (the so-called Lost Generation), including Gertrude Stein, Robert McAlmon, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Janet Flanner, Solita Solano, Djuna Barnes, Kay Boyle, Harry and Caresse Crosby, Walter Lowenfels, Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Edith Wharton had already moved to Paris before WWI, and did not consider herself an expatriate. African-American expatriation to Paris also boomed after World War I, beginning with black American veterans who preferred the subtler racism of Paris to the oppressive racism and segregation in parts of the United States.
In the 1920s black American writers, artists, and musicians arrived in Paris and popularized jazz in Parisian nightclubs, a time when Montmartre was known as "the Harlem of Paris." Some notable black American expatriates from the 1920s onward included Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and, after World War II, painters Herbert Gentry, Beauford Delaney, and Ed Clark; sculptor Harold Cousins, jazz musicians Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon; and writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes. In the 1960s a new wave of young black American visual artists chose to leave the U.S. They included Harvey Cropper, Arthur Hardie, Clifford Jackson, Sam Middleton, Earl Miller, Norman Morgan, Larry Potter, Mildred Thompson and Walter Williams. In the words of artist David C. Driskell, "They chose a form of cultural exile over expatriation, hoping for a better day to come about in the land of their birth." All settled in Europe.
Another famous group of expatriates was the so-called Beat Generation of American artists living in other countries during the 1950s and 1960s. This group included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Harold Norse and Ira Cohen. Gary Snyder has studied Zen in Japan. Later generation expatriates included 1950s jazz musicians such as Steve Lacy, 1960s rock musicians Jim Morrison and Nina Simone, as well as 1970s singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy. New Worlds Science Fiction writers Thomas M. Disch, John Sladek and Pamela Zoline lived in London in the Swinging Sixties. Preceding the Beats by several years, and serving to some extent as a point of pilgrimage for many of them was the American expatriate composer and writer Paul Bowles, who spent time in Europe in the 30s before relocating to Tangier, Morocco in 1947, where he lived until his death in 1999. Poet Robert Lax lived in Greece for over thirty years.
More recently Prague in the former Czechoslovakia has attracted a large community of expatriates from the English-speaking world. In 1993 The New York Times estimated that more than 30,000 Americans were living in Prague and in the same year Bruce Sterling wrote in Wired magazine that "Prague is very much like Paris in the '20s" because of the richness of its expatriate activities, even if it lacked the focus of that earlier generation of expatriates. At its height, the expatriate community in Prague supported several literary publications, multiple English language theater companies and bookstores, and various reading and open mic series. And, though now somewhat diminished in size and range of activities, the English-language expatriates living in Prague remain an active and cohesive community.
Many American fashion designers have notably become expatriates in France and Italy to design for existing European design houses or to enhance their own collections. These fashion designers include Marisol Deluna, Tom Ford, Patrick Kelly, and Marc Jacobs.
Colorado-born actor, singer and songwriter Dean Reed never achieved great success in his native United States, but later achieved great popularity in South America, especially Argentina, Chile and Peru. He appeared in several Italian "spaghetti westerns" and finally spent much of his adult life in East Germany, but never renounced his USA citizenship. He was an immensely popular celebrity in Eastern Europe until his death in 1986.
According to the U.S. Department of State, there was a substantial rise in the number of American-born expatriates since 1990, from about 1.5 million to 4.5 million in 2005, to eventually grow to about 6 to 8 million by 2009. fMost of the expatriates are retired and live on social security benefits, others are employed in international business, and those with strong unfavorable political views on American government.