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Chennault, Anna (1923–)

Chennault, Anna (1923–)

Chinese-born journalist and entrepreneur. Name variations: Mrs. Claire Lee Chennault; Anna Chan Chennault. Born Anna Chan, June 23, 1923, in Beijing, China; came to US (1948); became naturalized citizen (1950); 1 of 6 daughters of Y.W. Chan (diplomat) and Bessie (Joung) Chan; niece of Liao Chengzhi, a high-ranking Chinese official; Ling Nan University, BA, 1944; Chungang University (Korea), LittD, 1967; Lincoln University, LLD, 1970; m. Claire Lee Chennault (US general and aviator who trained the Flying Tigers squadron), Dec 21, 1947 (died July 1958); children: Claire Anna and Cynthia Louise Chennault.

Lecturer, writer, fashion consultant, and airlines executive, had a strong impact on Asian-American relations; was a war correspondent for Central News Agency in China (1944–48), the 1st female reporter for the agency, and became a special Washington correspondent (1965); was a feature writer for the Hsin Ming Daily News in Shanghai (1944–49); worked with Civil Air Transport in Taipei (1946–57); served as a broadcaster for Voice of America (1963–66); served as vice president of the Flying Tiger Line (1968–76); active in the Republican Party, was a prominent Washington host; served as chair of the Chinese Refugees Relief Committee for President Kennedy, the 1st person of Chinese ancestry to be named to the White House staff; protested the Vietnam War; representing the US, was often an envoy to China; published more than 50 works in Chinese and English.

See also Catherine Forslund, Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations (SR Books, 2001).

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