Anna Chennault, the legendary figure in U.S.-China relations, has passed away at the age of 94, in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Chennault, the widow of United States General Claire Lee Chennault of the “Flying Tigers” fame, was a long-time member of the Committee of 100 (C100) and an active participant in C100 functions. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for “International Cooperation” by C100 in 2005 at the organization’s annual conference.
“Anna Chennault was a true pioneer: as a courageous young woman helping the Flying Tigers during World War II and as a proud Chinese American working with Chinese and American leaders to build strong positive relationships,” C100 Governor Shirley Young, one of the original members of the non-profit organization, said. “We are grateful to have had her as a vibrant member of the Committee of 100.”
A native of China, from a family prominent in public life, Mrs. Chennault was a newspaper correspondent during World War II. Upon her marriage to General Chennault, the former Chen Xiangmei moved to the United States, though the family also traveled and lived extensively throughout the world. General Chennault and his “Flying Tigers” were revered during World War II for their heroic defense of China against Japanese aggression.
Over the years, Mrs. Chennault became one of the most influential private citizens in the nation’s capital. She was renowned for having the ear of Presidents and for her influence on foreign policy. Everyone working on U.S.-China relations recognized her invaluable contributions to diplomacy. Her death marks the end of an era. C100 expresses its sympathies to family and friends.
The Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts.