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Chinese-Americans 1785-: Famous People

Chinese-Americans' Major Contributions

Building Western half of the Transcontinental railroad

In 1863, construction began on the transcontinental railroad—1,776 miles of tracks that would form a link between America's West and East coasts. While thousands of European immigrants worked on the westbound Pacific Union rail, there was not enough manpower to build the Central Pacific line, which snaked through the rugged Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains. In 1865, Central Pacific officials hired 50 Chinese laborers to lay down a section of track. Their work was so well done, they decided to recruit more Chinese men. In the end, nearly 12,000 Chinese railroad workers were hired to perform dangerous work that white men refused to do. They dammed rivers, dug ditches, and blasted tunnels through mountain ranges. Hundreds of men died on the job. The Chinese also faced discrimination because they looked different from the white workers. Although they often outperformed other laborers, they were paid less. Despite all of the hardships, the Chinese laborers never quit. Thanks to their hard work, America became the first continent to have a coast-to-coast railroad. The railroad was considered the greatest American technological feat of the 19th century. It served as a vital link for trade, commerce and travel that joined the eastern and western halves of late 19th century United States .

Building levees in the Sacramento River Delta

Starting in the late 19th century, Chinese workers were used to construct hundreds of miles of levees throughout the delta's waterways in an effort to reclaim and preserve farmland and control flooding. These levees confine waterflow to the riverbeds. Levee failures in the delta can result in the flooding of vast tracts of both agricultural land and developed cities.

Developing and cultivating much of the Western US farmland

Chinese food

This type of cooking typically caters to Western tastes, and differs significantly from the cuisine of China.

Recent technological developments (especially in the Bay Area)

Famouse Chinese-American People


Lue Gim Gong 呂金功(b.1858) Known as "The Citrus Wizard,"he developed an orange that was both sweet and frost resistant in Deland, Fl. - the variety, now known as “Valencia”, was awarded the Silver Wilder Medal by the American Pomological Society in 1911.

Ah Bing, a farmer in Milwaukie, Oregon, developed a variety of cherry sweet fruit – the popular Bing Cherry in 1875.

Chien Lung b.1906) - Known as the "Chinese Potato King", he was one of the most successful farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta area.


Alan Chin – Artist. He was the youngest artist in history to be chosen to receive the commission to do one of the Hearts of San Francisco, benefiting the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. He currently donates his time and art to charitable organizations helping to create positive change in the world.

Ping Chong is internationally recognized as a director, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist, and is considered a seminal figure in Asian American theatre and the Asian American arts movement.

James Wong Howe is one of the greatest American cinematographers in movie history. He has over 130 films to his credit. A master at the use of shadow, he was one of the first to use deep-focus cinematography, photography in which both foreground and distant planes remain in focus. Nominated for ten Academy Awards for cinematography, winning twice (1955, 1963)

M. Pei is a Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese American architect, known as the last master of high modernist architecture. Pei is perhaps one of the most successful Asian architects of the 20th century, with his works built all over the world. Designed the Louvre Pyramid

Anna Sui is an American fashion designer. She has boutiques in many countries, especially Japan

Vivienne Tam fashion designer. Her clothing brand is named after her and is inspired by Chinese design and modern fashion. The theme of first collection was EAST WIND CODE. Her shops can be found in most major cities around the world.

Vera Wang fashion designer. She is known for her wedding gown collection, among other specialties. She won cfda's womenswear designer of the year award in 2005

Wayne Wang - Hollywood director He won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September 2007 for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers .

Anna May Wong - first Asian American movie star nominated for ten Academy Awards for cinematography, winning twice (1955, 1963)

Bradley Darryl Wong - first Asian American actor to receive awards from Actor's Equity Theatre World, Outer Critics, and Drama Desk; won a Tony Award as best featured actor for his performance in M Butterfly

Frank Wu is a science fiction and fantasy artist. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist in 2004, 2006, and 2007. He also won the Grand Prize (the Gold Award) in the Illustrators of the Future contest in 2002. Retrieved May 2008 from


Alex Chiu - eccentric promoter

Rupert Jee - owner of the Hello Deli next to the Ed Sullivan Theatre; has made numerous appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman

David Ji - co-founder of Apex Digital

Andrea Jung - CEO, Avon products

John Kwan - CEO, founder of VeriPic, multiple patent holder

Kim Ng - baseball executive

Patrick Soon-Shiong, surgeon, founder Abraxis BioScience, billionaire

An Wang - computer engineer and inventor; co-founder of Wang Laboratories

Charles Wang - founder, CEO, chairman, Computer Associates


Rosalind Chao - actress

Joan Chen - actress, director

Mandy Cho - former beauty queen hailing from Hong Kong

Annabel Chong - adult film actress

China Chow - actress, model (father is Chinese-American)

Kam Fong Chun - actor

Haing S. Ngor - Chinese Cambodian actor; won an Oscar for Best Supporting actor in The Killing Fields

Kelly Hu - actress

William Hung - actor of American Idol fame

James Hong - actor

Malese Jow - actress on Unfabulous and Bratz

Archie Kao - actor and model

Nancy Kwan - first Chinese-born star in Western cinema

Dan Kwong - performance artist, writer, teacher

Tiffany Lam - former beauty queen hailing from Hong Kong

Bruce Lee - martial artist, kung fu actor

Brandon Lee - actor, son of Bruce Lee

Jason Scott Lee - actor

Bai Ling - actress

Lucy Liu - film/television actress

John Lone - actor, most notable for his role as Pu Yi in The Last Emperor

Keye Luke - actor

Olivia Munn - actress, model and television personality

Janel Parrish- actress

Robin Shou - martial artist

Kobe Tai - adult film actress

Jennifer Tilly - actress

Meg Tilly - actress

Chuti Tiu - actress, "Desire", "24", "Dragnet", "Beautiful", "The Specials", former America's Junior Miss (first non-Caucasian winner)

Lauren Tom - actress

Ming Tsai - chef and restaurateur (Blue Ginger); host of Emmy Award winning television show "East Meets West"

Kelly Vitz- actress on Sky High and Nancy Drew

Garrett Wang - actor in Star Trek: Voyager

Ming-Na Wen - Macanese-born actress

Anna May Wong - first female Asian-American star of the screen

B. D. Wong - actor in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, winner of a Tony Award for M Butterfly

Helen Wong - model and actress

Russell Wong - actor

Victor Wong - Hollywood actor

Daniel Wu - Hong Kong-based Chinese American actor

Kiko Wu - adult model and actress

Martin Yan - chef, host of Yan Can Cook

Welly Yang - actor and artist

Victor Sen Yung - actor, portrayed Hop Sing in Bonanza

Nan Zhang - actress, Gossip Girl as Kati Farkas


Jeff Chang - journalist, hip-hop historian

Laura Chang - science editor, The New York Times

Julie Chen - newsreader on The Early Show and host of Big Brother

Anna Chen Chennault - journalist, notable in American public life; also, wife of Claire Chennault, of the Flying Tigers

Connie Chung - TV news anchor, the second woman ever to anchor a national news program

Ben Fong-Torres - journalist, Rolling Stone

Jennifer 8. Lee - journalist, The New York Times

Carol Lin - news anchor

Sam Chu Lin - journalist, one of the first Asian Americans on network TV news

Lisa Ling - journalist, known for her role as a co-host of ABC's The View and host of National Geographic Ultimate Explorer

Jennifer Su (Jennifer Tsou) - Television news anchor, Star TV

Kaity Tong - Television news anchor, WPIX-TV

Jeff Yang - writer, media/business consultant, Asian American culture columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle

Anthony Yuen - journalist


Bette Bao Lord - a distinguished novelist and writer, and serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House. President Clinton has hailed Ms. Bao Lord as "someone who writes so powerfully about the past and is working so effectively to shape the future." Her First novel, Spring Moon (1981), set in pre-revolutionary China , was an international bestseller and American Book Award nominee for best first novel.

Eileen Chang - writer

Lan Samantha Chang - an American writer of novels and short stories ; director of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her works include Hunger , a novella plus four short stories, and Inheritance, a novel.

Frank Chin - novelist, playwright, and essayist. He received an American Book Award in 1989 for a collection of short stories, and another in 2000 for Lifetime Achievement.

Maxine Hong Kingston - writer, novelist. Among her works are The Woman Warrior (1976), awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and China Men (1980), which was awarded the 1981 National Book Award. She was awarded the 1997 National Humanities Medal by President of the United States Bill Clinton. Hong Kingston was awarded the Northern California Book Award Special Award in Publishing for her most recent novel Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (2006).

David Henry Hwang (b. 1957) - a contemporary American playwright who has risen to prominence as the preeminent Asian American dramatist in the U.S. He wrote and produced his first play, FOB, during his senior year of college. It won an Obie Award for Best New American Play, and maked the beginning of his meteoric rise as a playwright. In 1989, he won a Tony Award for M Butterfly, and was appointed by President Clinton to the President's Committee for the Arts and the Humanities serving from 1994-2001.

Gish Jen - writer, novelist

Ha Jin – novelist. He has won a number of awards for his writing, including the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, Waiting (1999). Many of his short stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories anthologies, and his collection Under The Red Flag (1997) won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, while Ocean of Words (1996) has been awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award. The novel War Trash (2004), set during the Korean War, won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Gus Lee - a best-selling Several of her short stories have been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories .

David Wong Louie - an American writer of novels and short stories. Pangs of Love received the 1991 First Fiction Award from the Los Angeles Times and the Ploughshares First Fiction Book Award. It was also named a Notable Book by the New York Times and a Voice Literary Supplement Favorite. The Barbarians are Coming won the Shirley Collier Prize. He has also won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award.

Adeline Yen Mah - author and physician

Amy Tan - best-selling author

Jade Snow Wong - writer

Timothy C. Wong - sinologist, translator, and literary theorist

Laurence Yep - award- winning Chinese-American modern author . The most notable of his books is a series called the Golden Mountain Chronicles. He received the Newbery Honor for two books in the series.

Judy Yung - author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island , 1910-1940 (1980), the award-winning Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (1995) and Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (2006), among other books.

Ben Fee - writer and labor organizer. He was the writer of short works depicting the Chinese American experience of the post-World War Two era. His mix of old-style cultural mores was popularized by author and vaudeville producer Frank Chin who caricatured Fee as a mix of the American "Wild West" and traditional Chinese thinking.


Maj. Arthur Chin - World War II pilot and fighter ace with Canton Provincial Air Force, National Revolutionary Army

David S. C. Chu - US Army Captain, now United States Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness)

Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon , US Navy Rear Admiral

Tom Gunn 谭根 b.1890 - First Chinese American to earn a US. Pilot’s licence. He represented  China in the 1910 International Aviation Meet in Los Angeles. He was named the “Wright of China”. In 1911, when revolution erupted in China, he was contacted by Sun Yat-sen to popularize aviation. In two years, Gunn made over 800 flights and carried more than 300 passengers in the Pacific region, including Hawaiian Islands, where he also demonstrated the first flying boat.

Major General John Liu Fugh - the first Chinese American officer to be promoted to the rank of General in the US Army, and the Army's first Chinese American Judge Advocate General

Eddie Fung - the only Chinese American soldier to be captured by Japan during World War II

William Ah Hang - one of the first Asian Americans to enlist in the U.S. Navy during Civil War

Wah Kau Kong - Second Lieutenant and first Chinese American fighter pilot in the US Air Force

Joseph L. Pierce (b. 1841). Known as "the only Chinaman in the Army of the Potomac", enlisted in the 14th Connecticut Infantry at the age of 21, and fought in the Civil War.

Wilbur Carl Sze - first Chinese American officer in U.S. Marine Corps

James Yee - US Army Captain and chaplain, formerly charged with sedition

Francis B. Wai - US Army Captain and the only Chinese American to have been awarded the Medal of Honor

Mun Charn Wong , US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, friend of Wah Kau Kong


Jin Au-yeung - rapper

Flora Chan - Hong Kong-born singer/actress

Jaycee Chan - American-born, Hong Kong singer, son of Jackie Chan

Chi Cheng - bassist to alternative metal band, Deftones

Kelis - singer

CoCo Lee - singer

Annie Lin - singer-songwriter

Justin Lo - American-born, Hong Kong singer

Yo-Yo Ma - cellist

Benny Mao - singer-songwriter

Dawn Xiana Moon - singer-songwriter, model, writer

Richard On - guitarist-songwriter for rock band O.A.R.

Ne-Yo - R&B artist, 1/4 Chinese

Tan Dun - grammy and Oscar award winning composer; recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for his opera Marco Polo

Vienna Teng - singer-songwriter

Lee-Hom Wang - Taiwanese pop singer

Chris Wong Won ("Fresh Kid Ice", 'The Chinaman") - Chinese Trinidadian rapper, member of 2 Live Crew

Nobel Prize Winners

1957 Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang - received the Nobel Prize for their work in particle physics

1976 Samuel Chao Chung Ting - shared the Nobel Prize for physics for discovering the existence of a new particle called j/psi

1982 Daniel Chee Tsui was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect.

1986 Yuan T. Lee - shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work in the nature of chemical reactions

1997 Steven Chu is a co-winner of Nobel Prize in Physics in “development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light”. As a senior at Garden City High School in New York, he discovered the thrill of experimentation once again. In physics lab, the Chinese American teen built an instrument to measure gravity. After studying physics in college and graduate school, Chu worked as a scientist at Bell Laboratories for nine years. In 1997, all of Chu's years in the lab paid off when he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on cooling atoms.

Politics and Government

Norman C. Bay - former United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Bay was the first Chinese-American United States Attorney 2000

Julia Chang Bloch - first Asian American ambassador in the history of the U.S. diplomatic core 1989 Secretary of Labor

Elaine Chao - the first Chinese American to serve in the federal cabinet. 2001

Denny Chin - Federal judge, Southern District of New York Ruby Chow became the first Chinese American woman elected to Seattle City Council 1973

David S. C. Chu - United States Undersecretary of Defense for Readiness (R)

Judy Chu is the first Chinese American woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 2009

March Fong Eu was elected California Secretary of State in 1974, the first Asian American woman ever elected to a state constitutional office in the United States . 1974

Hiram Fong - first American of Asian descent to be elected to the U.S. Senate when he was chosen as Hawaii 's first senator 1959

Matthew K. Fong - former Republican state treasurer of California (R)

Ed Jew - former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (D)

Bill Lann Lee - First Asian American to head the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division 2000

Dr. Henry Lee - First Chinese American Head of Connecticut State Police, commissioner of public safety -- the state's highest ranking police post. (1998)

John Chun Liu, Late Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (D) is a New York City elected official, currently serving on the New York City Council representing District 20. He was elected to represent northeast Queens 2002

Gary Locke 駱家輝 - the current United States Ambassador to China. He was the only Asian American governor on the U.S. mainland - Governor of Washington 1997- 2003.

Wing Luke - first Asian American elected official in the Pacific Northwest when he became a Seattle City Council member 1962

Liu Yong-chuan – President of The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars . ( IFCSS) had become one of the most influential overseas Chinese students groups in history. It had lobbied successfully in U.S. Congress, organized the well-known " Washington March for Chinese Democracy" in 1989, and united tens of thousands of Chinese students together for many years since 1989.

Thomas Tang served as a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit for sixteen years 1977

Shien Biau Woo - former attorney general and lieutenant governor of Delaware , current president of the 80-20 Initiative

David Wu - Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives for Oregon , representing the state's First Congressional District. Wu is the first Chinese American member of the House of Representatives.1999

Sherman Wu - Chinese American social activist and a former professor, whose experiences at Northwestern University brought the issue of discrimination against Asian Americans to the fore. The general condemnation of the prejudice exhibited against him presaged later actions in the Asian American civil rights movement.

Mae Yih - former Oregon State Senator (D)

Helen Zia - journalist and scholar who has covered Asian American communities and social and political movements for decades.

Leland Yee - California State Senator in District 8. He became the first Asian American to be appointed Speaker pro Tempore, making him the second highest ranking Democrat of the California State Assembly.

Science, Engineering and Education

Min Chueh Chang - Chinese American reproductive biologist. Though his career produced findings that are important and valuable to many areas in the field of fertilization, including his work on in vitro fertilization which led to the first "test tube baby", he was best known to the world for his contribution to the development of the combined oral contraceptive pill.

Shiing-Shen Chern – mathematician, one of the leaders in differential geometry of the twentieth century.

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung - First Asian American woman pilot. Cheung left China at 17 to study music in Los Angeles. Her fascination with flying led her to take flying lessons at age 26, going on her first solo flight after only 12.5 hours of instructions.  Cheung amazed crowds with sensational loops and rolls of her plane in air shows and often flew in air races.

Leroy Chiao - an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut who was stationed on board the International Space Station. NASA astronaut

Maj. Arthur Chin - Sparked by the Japanese invasion of China, Chin enrolled in flight school in 1932. Along with 15 other Chinese Americans, he left for China and joined the Cantonese Air Force. He destroyed eight enemy aircrafts. In 1939 his plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed. He parachuted to safety but was badly burned. Nevertheless, after several years of surgery he returned to China to fly supplies over the Himalayas. He is recognized as the America's first ace in World War II.

David Jung-Kuang Chiu - Chinese-born American leader in education, serving as both Director of Asian Studies and Dean of University Advisement, Hofstra University

Wen Tsing Chow - missile guidance scientist, digital computer pioneer

Paul Ching Wu Chu - physicist, superconductivity. He received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding work in superconductivity, including the US National Medal of Science and the International Prize for New Materials. He was an invited contributor to the White House National Millennium Time Capsule at the National Archives in 2000 and was selected the Best Researcher in the US by US News and World Report in 1990.

Steven Chu - 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, first Asian-American to run one of the 16 national laboratories operated by the Department of Energy (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) He's known for his research in laser cooling and trapping of atoms, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

Fan Chung - mathematician

Lue Gim Gong - in 1888, he invented an orange, which is still grown in Florida , that survives cold weather

Dr. David Ho - AIDS researcher. reported for the first time the "healthy carrier state" of HIV infection, which identified otherwise healthy individuals who tested positive for the virus but did not show any physical signs of the disease in 1984.

William C. Hsiao - Harvard economist. He is considered one of the world's foremost experts on health care economics and financing and regularly advises U.S. government agencies, foreign governments and non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization.

Feng-hsiung Hsu - the architect and the principal designer of the IBM Deep Blue chess machine , which beat World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in 1997 . He as the recipient of the 1990 Mephisto Award for his doctoral dissertation and also the 1991 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for his contributions in architecture and algorithms for chess machines.

Him Mark Lai - Notable historian. Proclaimed by The Chronicle of Higher Education as “the Scholar who legitimized the study of Chinese America,” Him Mark Lai has been at the core of many community institutions as well as a pivotal figure for the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA).

Henry C. Lee - forensic scientist. He has worked on famous cases such as the JonBenét Ramsey murder, the O.J. Simpson and Laci Peterson cases, the post- 9/11 forensic investigation, the Washington, DC sniper shootings and to reninvestigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy . He investigated the 3-19 Shooting Incident of R.O.C. President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu . Following the O.J. Simpson case Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr hired Dr. Henry Lee to join his investigation of the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster , who killed himself in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993.

Dr. Faith Sai So Leong 梁细苏 (b.1880)
Graduating from the college of physicians and surgeons in San Fransisco in 1905, Faith So Leung became the first Chinese woman dentist in America and the only female member of San Francisco’s Chinese Dental Club.

Maya Lin - A Monumental Architect. Maya Lin rose to fame in 1981. Just 21-years-old and still an architectural student at Yale University, Lin won a contest to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her design beat out more than 1,400 entries. The Memorial's 594-foot granite wall features the names of the more than 58,000 U.S. soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. Each year, four million people visit the wall to pay their respects to these war heroes. Less than a decade later, Lin designed another famous structure—the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. The monument outlines the major events of the Civil Rights Movement. Today, Lin's designs can be found in several American cities and continue to inspire the entire nation.

T. Y. Lin - civil engineer (bridgebuilder)

Edward Tsang Lu - Astronaut. After obtaining his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University, he worked in astrophysics in Colorado. After a stint as post-doctoral fellow in Honolulu, HI, he joined NASA in 1994. He has flown on two shuttle missions and one Soyuz mission, becoming the first American to launch and land on a Soyuz.

The Hon. Gordon Quan, noted civil rights lawyer and former city councilperson of Houston , Tex. Gordon Quan has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America , Who's Who in American Law and Texas Super Lawyers.

Chang-lin Tien - professor, former chancellor UC Berkeley. The first Asian American and Chinese American to head a major U.S. university

Samuel C. C. Ting - 1976 Nobel laureate, Physics

Daniel Chee Tsui - was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect along with Horst L. Störmer of Columbia University and Robert Laughlin of Stanford in 1998.

Kai-Fu Lee - an information technology executive and a computer science researcher. The founding p resident of Google China

Ann Wang - Invented the magnetic core memory 1944 , which revolutionized computing and served as the standard method for memory retrieval and storage until the invention of the microchip in the 1960s

Taylor Wang - first Chinese American scientist to go into space (1985 on space shuttle Challenger).

Pei-Yuan Wei - creator of ViolaWWW

Flossie Wong-Staal - virologist and AIDS researcher. She was the first person to map HIV. From 1990-2002, she was the Florence Riford Chair in AIDS Research at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). She is now the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Genomics for Immusol.

Chien-Shiung Wu - female physicist with an expertise in radioactivity. She worked on the Manhattan Project (to enrich the uranium fuel) and disproved the conservation of parity . Her nicknames to many scientists are “First Lady of Physics”, “Madame Curie of China ” and also “Madame Wu”.

Henry Tzu-Yow Yang - chancellor, UC Santa Barbara. He held the post of Neil A. Armstrong Distinguished Professor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University .

Shing-Tung Yau - mathematician working in differential geometry. He proved Calabi's conjecture on a class of manifolds now named Calabi-Yau manifolds, which has now become the geometric ground where physicists build their string theory.


Michael Chang - Champion tennis player.  First started competing at age 15, breaking many"youngest player" records. In 1989, at the age of 17, he became the first American male to win the French Open since 1955. He is the first and only Asian player in the top 10 world rankings. Chang will be retiring from tennis in 2003, at the end of his seventeenth US Open.

Tiffany Chin - figure skater. She dominated the junior circuit in ice skating prior to her Olympic career, winning the US Junior National title as well as the World Junior title. Chin made the United States Winter Olympic team in 1984 after winning the free skate at the 1984 Nationals. She won two world bronze medals as well the 1985 U.S. National title, a first for an Asian American or anyone who was not Caucasian.

Amy Chow - gymnast and a member of the famous Magnificent 7 who were the first American team to win Olympic gymnastics gold.

Norm Chow - UCLA Bruins offensive coordinator. Chow won the 2002 Broyles Award as the nation's top collegiate assistant coach. He also was named the 2002 NCAA Division I-A Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly and was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1999 by the American Football Foundation.

Julie Chu - Olympics hockey player. Chu is the first Asian American woman and first Chinese American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team, and played in the 2002 and 2006 games. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2007 for best female collegiate hockey player.

Karen Kwan - former figure skater, sister of Michelle Kwan. Karen represented the United States at numerous international skating events, and won the bronze medal at the 1996 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany.

Michelle Kwan - figure skater. She won nine U.S. championships, five World Championships, and two Olympic medals. She has remained competitive for over a decade and is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. Known for her consistency and expressive artistry on ice, she is widely considered to be one of the greatest figure skaters of all time.

Jeremy Lin (Lin Shu-how) - basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He unexpectedly led a winning turnaround with the New York Knicks in 2012, which generated a global following known as "Linsanity".

Caroline Zhang - figure skater. She is the 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion and 2007 World Junior Champion.


Jerry Yang 杨志远 (b. 1968) co-created the Yahoo! Internet navigational guide in April 1994 with David Filo, and a year later cofounded Yahoo! Inc. It has since become one of the host trafficked etworks on the Internet.

Steve Chen 陳士駿 b. 1978. In 2005, he was the co- founder of YouTube.In June 2006, Chen was named by Business 2.0 as one of "The 50 people who matter now" in business.


Charles Goodall Lee - first licensed Chinese American dentist in the United States. He settled in Oakland and became Oakland Chinatown's first dentist. His practice continued till his retirement in 1940. He was an active participant in civil affairs founding Oakland's Chinese American Citizens Alliance in 1912.

Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee - first Chinese American woman voter in the United States. She registered to vote on 1911-11-08 in California.

Soong Mei-Ling - a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. As the wife of President Chiang Kai-shek, she played a prominent role in the politics of the Republic of China.

Katherine Young - World's oldest user of the Internet. O n her 102nd birthday, she became a celebrity for being the oldest person to surf the Internet. She was feted with numerous birthday emails and an emailed sonogram of her great-grandson.

Yung Wing - First Chinese and Asian to obtain a degree from an American college (Yale University) in 1854. He persuaded the Qing Dynasty government to send young Chinese to the United States to study Western science and engineering. With the government's eventual approval, he organized what came to be known as the Chinese Educational Mission, which included 120 young Chinese students, to study in the New England region of the United States beginning in 1872. The Educational Mission was disbanded in 1881, but many of the students later returned to China and made significant contributions to China's civil services, engineering, and the sciences.