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I Was a Refugee From Post-WWII Europe. Today, My Green Card Reminds Me That My Success Was Never Guaranteed.

It was only an entry ticket to the great game.

This story appears in the June 2022 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

This was my ticket to the game.

Courtesy of Branko Terzic

That's what I think every time I see my green card ("Form I-151"), issued in New Orleans in 1950 when I was a 3-year-old refugee from post-World War II Europe. The "soup bowl" haircut was courtesy of a former Royal Yugoslav artillery officer; he answered my mother's shipboard plea for a "barber" when she thought my long hair might leave me mistaken for a girl. It brings to mind a truism: There is always a solution to every problem, but not necessarily the best solution.

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