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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.

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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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