Famous Chinese Americans – # 23 Michael Chang (張德培) – an Inspiration to little boys and girls

Famous Chinese Americans – # 23 Michael Chang (張德培) – an Inspiration to little boys and girls

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Michael Chang, Tennis Great
Michael Chang, Tennis Great

Michael Chang (張德培) is my pick for #23 on a list of the top 25 most influential Chinese-Americans.

Michael’s parents came to the US from Taiwan in 1959 (mom) and 1966 (dad). Both parents were educated in the US. His mother was born in Delhi, India. She was the daughter of a diplomat from the Republic of China to India. His father was born in Chaozhou, China and moved to Taiwan when he was seven.

The family lived in New Jersey before finally settling in California.

When Michael was just 16 years old, he dropped out of high school and passed his GED test so he could focus on being a professional tennis player. He also started a string of youngest evers ….

Michael did a lot of things when he was young.

He won his first national title when he was just 12 – the USTA Junior Hard Court singles.

He won the Fiesta Bowl 16s when he was 13.

He was the USTA Boys 18s hard courts when we was 15.

He also won the Boys 18s when he was 15.

He was the youngest player ever to win a draw match at the US Opens and became the youngest player ever to get to the semifinals of a top-level pro tournament.

He won a top-level singles title in San Francisco when he was 16.

But first of all – he won the French Open when he was just 17, the first American to win that event in 34 years, the first American to win a Grand Slam in 5 years and the youngest player ever to get into the world’s top 5 in the rankings.

And he never grew over 5’9″ tall.

Who says Chinese-Americans have to be big in size to be big in stature?

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

 

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