Laura G. Ling (Chinese: 凌志美; pinyin: Líng Zhìměi; born December 1, 1976) is an American journalist, working for Current TV as a correspondent and vice president of its Vanguard Journalism Unit, which produces the Vanguard TV series. She is the sister of Lisa Ling, who is a special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic Explorer, and CNN. Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee were detained in North Korea after they crossed into North Korea from the People's Republic of China without a visa. They were subsequently pardoned after former US President Bill Clinton flew to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-il.
Ling's father Doug is a Chinese immigrant, born in the 1920s; her mother Mary Mei-yan (née Wang) hails from Tainan, Taiwan, and formerly served as the head of the Los Angeles office of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs. They divorced when Laura Ling was 4 years old and her sister Lisa was 7. Following the divorce, the two sisters were raised in the city of Sacramento, California by their father. Ling describes herself as Chinese American, but a friend described her as "a true Valley girl ... about as Chinese as the cuisine at Chin Chin". She studied at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California; an English teacher there, who taught both Ling and her sister, claimed that when he first knew Ling, she was already interested in following her sister's footsteps into the journalism field; he described her as "different from her sister ... and more determined, in a sense". She went on to graduate with a communications degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998.
On June 3, 2010, Ling gave birth to a girl, naming her Li Jefferson Clayton, in Burbank, California. Laura and her husband decided to name the baby Li, after Laura's sister Lisa, and chose Jefferson as a middle name as a tribute to former President William Jefferson Clinton.