Woo, Chinese-American leader, dies in LA

Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Wilbur K. Woo, a leader in the Los Angeles Chinese community who worked to strengthen U.S. trade relations with Taiwan, has died, his family says. He was 96.

Woo died Monday at his home in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke and pneumonia, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Woo arrived in the United States from China with his parents at age 5, but the family returned to China during the Depression.

He came back to the United States in 1940, fleeing the Japanese, and worked in the Office of Postal Censorship as a translator during World War II. After the war, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from UCLA.

Woo's business interests were diverse and widespread. He was chairman of the Chinese Times newspaper, president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, sat on the board of a corporation that developed a shopping center in LA's Chinatown and was vice president of Cathay Bank of Los Angeles.

He was the chief fundraiser in the city's Chinese community for President Richard Nixon's 1972 campaign.

Woo founded and was chairman of the California-Taiwan Trade and Investment Council and served as an overseas representative to the Taiwan Legislature.

He is survived by his wife Beth; three daughters; a son; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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