Chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation
Florence Fang is the Chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation. She was the Publisher of the San Francisco Examiner as well as the Chairwoman for the Independent Newspaper Group, which owns fourteen local newspapers. She was at the helm of Asian Week and served as President of the Chinese version of the Young China Daily and the China World News. She has successfully managed multiple businesses and was twice awarded the California Woman of the Year, in 1990 and 2003 respectively.
Florence is passionate about education. In 2006, she donated millions of dollars to the University of California Berkeley’s East Asian Library. She serves as an Honorary Trustee at Peking University, an Honorary Professor at Wuhan University, and an Honorary Professor at China Foreign Affairs University. In 2013, Peking University opened the Florence Lee Fang building with its sole purpose to teach and promote the Chinese language and culture to the world.
In 2014, she received the "Brilliance of China Award (中华之光)" by CCTV in recognition of her work in promoting understanding between the US & China. She also made arrangements for the then First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama to deliver a speech at Peking University, encouraging exchanges of the younger generation between the US & China.
US Congress honored Florence on April 2, 2014, for her lifetime efforts in promoting and advancing the bilateral relationship between the US & China, which was recorded in the Congressional Record proceedings and the second session of the 113th congress debate (Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 53, pE497).
Florence also serves as the Honorable Chairwoman of the Flying Tiger Historical Organization. She donated an original C-47 airplane that once flew over “The Hump” airlift route through the Himalayas. In November 2016, this plane flew the same Hump route from Burma, across the Himalayas, to Guilin for the last time where it is now permanently displayed at the Flying Tiger Heritage Park as a symbol of the long-standing US-China relationship. This work was supported and encouraged by Max Baucus, former US Ambassador to China.
Florence also founded the first overseas China WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall in San Francisco’s Chinatown. In 2017, the memorial hall hosted an exhibition titled “Forgotten Camp: Allied POWs of Shenyang” which showcased imageries from well-preserved Prisoner of War (PoW) camp in Mukden, Manchuria. At that time, 70% of the PoW’s were Americans. The exhibition attracted many American visitors, hoping to find/identify their missing relatives in those old images.
In recognition of her leadership and contribution to the local community, San Francisco dedicated its first community garden focused on the Asian community to Florence. In 2014, US House of Representative Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi broke ground for the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, which now serves as a gathering place for various grassroots community events as well as a regular Food Bank distribution spot.
Florence has been a longtime supporter of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. To advance her work in strengthening the relationship between the US & China, she recently donated the Launchpad Loggia to be placed at the museum’s new pavilion (scheduled to be open in 2020). The museum will feature both traditional and modern cultures of Asia.
On February 13, 2019, Mrs. Fang was honored as the first recipient of the “Global Leadership Award” by Bay Area Council in San Francisco.