Shirley Young, ‘trailblazer’ Chinese-American businesswoman, dies

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Shirley Young — a prominent Chinese-American who began in marketing in New York City and ended up helping to transform business relations between China and the US — has died, her family said Sunday.

Young, 85, passed away Saturday night, one of her sons, David Hsieh, told The Post.

“She was a real trailblazer,” Hsieh said of his mother.

Young was born in Shanghai and moved as a child to the Philippines, where her diplomat father served as consul general for China until he was executed when the Japanese invaded during World War II.

“She lived out the war under Japanese occupation,” Hsieh said of his mom.

Around age 11 or 12, Young moved to Manhattan with her mother and two sisters, Hsieh said.

Young, asked about her first impression of the US by Bill Moyers in 2003, said, “I thought we’d reached heaven.”

One of her first jobs was with Grey Advertising, where she would spend more than the next two decades pioneering market research.

Young went from there to become corporate vice president at General Motors from 1988 to 1999.

“She was very influential helping to introduce GM to China,’’ her son said, noting his mom’s “unique perspective’’ on her homeland.

When Young retired from GM, she concentrated on promoting something close to her heart — the arts, Hsieh said.

Young, a board director of the New York Philharmonic, had a personal connection because she was an artist herself, he said.

“She was a phenomenal piano player growing up and had contemplated becoming a concert pianist,” said Hsieh, one of Young’s three sons.

Young was a great supporter of famed pianist Lang Lang, as well as cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Young also co-founded the Committee of 100, a national Chinese-American business-leadership group, and served on a slew of top boards, including for the Bank of America and Bell Atlantic/Verizon.

In addition, she was vice chairman of the Nominating Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and a board member of the Associates of Harvard Business School.

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