Author, Scholar, Inventor, and Linguist. He was born in a mountainous area of Fujian Province, China. He received his undergraduate education at St. John's University in Shanghai, and then studied at Harvard University before moving to Europe and finishing his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He taught at Beijing University for a few years, and in 1928 moved to the United States where he spent much of his life. A prolific writer, he had a superb command of the English language. He wrote works in Chinese and English, and translated classic Chinese books into English for Western consumption. He also wrote about Chinese culture with the aim of familiarizing Westerners with the land of his origin. Two of his most popular works are "My Country and My People" and "The Importance of Living". A skilled inventor, he came up with a number of inventions involving the Chinese language, such as a Chinese typewriter, a romanization system and a Chinese character indexing method. He also compiled a Chinese-English dictionary which to this day remains a standard reference. In 1966 he moved from the US to Taiwan, and had a house built in Yangmingshan, Taipei, is where he spent his final ten years. He died in Hong Kong. His house is now museum, and he is buried in a simply designed tomb in the garden.
Bio by: Chris Nelson