Florence Lee Fang is the chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation. She was the publisher of the San Francisco Examiner as well as a chairwoman for the Independent Newspaper Group, which owns fourteen local newspapers. She was at the helm of Asian Week and served as president of the Chinese version of The Young China Daily and The China World News. She has successfully managed multiple businesses and was twice awarded the California Woman of The Year, in 1990 and 2003. Florence is passionate about education; in 2006, she donated millions of dollars to University of California Berkeley’s East Asian Library. She serves as an Honorary Trustee at Peking University, an Honorary Professor at Wuhan University, and an Honorary Professor at China Foreign Affairs University. In 2013, to promote greater understanding between the United States and China, the Peking University opened the Florence Lee Fang building, with its only purpose to teach and promote Chinese language and culture to the world. In 2014, she received the “Brilliance of China Award (中华之光)” by CCTV in recognition of her work to promote understanding between US & China. She also helped to arrange the then First Lady of The United States Michelle Obama to deliver a speech at Peking University, encouraging young generation exchange between US & China. US Congress honored Florence on April 2, 2014, for her whole life’s efforts to promote and advance the bilateral relationship between US & China. This was recorded in the Congressional Record proceedings and debate of the 113th Congress, second session (Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 53, p. E497).
Florence also serves as the Honorable Chairwoman of the Flying Tiger Historical Organization. She donated an original C-47 airplane that once flew over “The Hump” airlift route through the Himalayas. In November 2016, this plane flew the same Hump route from Burma, across the Himalayas, to Guilin for the last time where it is now permanently displayed at the Flying Tiger Heritage Park as a symbol of the long-standing US-China relationship. This work was supported and encouraged by former US Ambassador to China Max Baucus. Florence also founded the first overseas China WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall in San Francisco’s Chinatown. In 2017, the memorial hall hosted an exhibition titled “Forgotten Camp: Allied POWs of Shenyang,” which showcased images from the well-preserved Prisoner of War (PoW) camp in Mukden, Manchuria. At that time, 70% of the PoW’s were Americans. The exhibition led many local and out of town American visitors to come and scour the exhibits to find/identify their missing relatives in those old images. In recognition of her leadership and contribution to the local community, San Francisco dedicated its first community garden focused on the Asian community to Florence. In 2014, US House of Representative Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did the groundbreaking for the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, which now serves as the local community’s gathering place for various events, as well as a regular Food Bank distribution spot. Florence has been a longtime supporter of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. To advance her work in strengthening the relationship between US & China, she recently donated the Launchpad Loggia in the museum’s new pavilion (scheduled to open in 2020). It will host both Asian traditional and modern culture.
Copyright 2009-2010 Peking University Alumni Association of Northern California