Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity / Edition 1

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Berkeley 2005 The Life of a Wartime Celebrity. 282p, cloth-bound boards, excellent condition, a remarkable story of the first known American-born woman of Cninese descent to ... become a physician. Mom Chung lived an unconventional life in San Francisco, receiving the attention of Elsa Gitlow and romancing Sophie Tucker. She promoted the formation of the WAVES and entertained GIs and Hollywood stars in her SF home. Her lifestyle was jazzy and yet maternal. What a woman. Margaret Chung (1889-1959) was born in Santa Barbara, CA to Chinese parents who could never become US citizens. She attended medical school at University of Southern California but had to relocate to Chicago to be accepted by a hospital for her residency and internship. She returned to California afterwards and became a Hollywood surgeon, operating on Mary Pickford and befriending Anna May Wong. These connections followed her to San Francisco in the 1930s and onward. She ran a "Stagedoor Canteen" out of her home for GIs and welcomed Hollywoo Read more Show Less

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Overview

During World War II, Mom Chung's was the place to be in San Francisco. Soldiers, movie stars, and politicians gathered at her home to socialize, to show their dedication to the Allied cause, and to express their affection for Dr. Margaret Chung (1889-1959). The first known American-born Chinese female physician, Chung established one of the first Western medical clinics in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1920s. She also became a prominent celebrity and behind-the-scenes political broker during World War II. Chung gained national fame when she began "adopting" thousands of soldiers, sailors, and flyboys, including Ronald Reagan, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. A pioneer in both professional and political realms, Chung experimented in her personal life as well. She adopted masculine dress and had romantic relationships with other women, such as writer Elsa Gidlow and entertainer Sophie Tucker.

This is the first biography to explore Margaret Chung's remarkable and complex life. It brings alive the bohemian and queer social milieus of Hollywood and San Francisco as well as the wartime celebrity community Chung cultivated. Her life affords a rare glimpse into the possibilities of traversing racial, gender, and sexual boundaries of American society from the late Victorian era through the early Cold War period.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520241435
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Ohio State University.

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Table of Contents

1 The medical lady missionary 9
2 Living their religion 23
3 Where womanhood and childhood meet 38
4 A noble profession 55
5 The beginning of a new era 71
6 The ministering angel of Chinatown 86
7 A sister lesbian? 103
8 Becoming Mom Chung 119
9 A model family at war 136
10 Creating WAVES 155
11 I'll wait on you forever 170
Epilogue : "there will never be another Mom Chung" 185
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