Dr. Betty Lee Sung, a trailblazer for Asian American studies, has died at 98. According to The New York Times, her daughter Cynthia Sung confirmed that her mother died Thursday.
Dr. Sung was born in America but moved back to China with her parents when she was young. She would eventually make her way back to America after fleeing the Japanese invasion as a teenager.
Dr. Sung became one of the first Chinese American women of her generation to college despite having limited means. She spent nearly forty years doing sociological research on the Chinese American community. In the 1970s, she founded an Asian American studies program at the City College of New York. According to The New York Times, it was the first of its kind on the East Coast.
The Museum of Chinese Americans in New York City posted a tribute to Dr. Sung after learning of her death.
“Dr. Sung, we miss you already and want to say thank you for enriching the lives of everyone you have touched with your grace, dedication, excellence, and commitment to Chinese American communities,” the museum wrote in a statement.
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