America has a renowned reputation for being a “melting pot” of cultures, where all nationalities can come together to live in a unique and diverse society. The United States of America has produced a lot of famous people from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Asian Americans are a particularly large group and there are individuals who have set the world alight with their unique skills.
Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world’s greatest cellists and began playing the instrument when he was only four. He and his mother lived briefly in Paris before settling in New York and becoming US citizens. Ma played his first concert at the famous Carnegie Hall venue when he was nine, and has now recorded over 50 albums and won dozens of awards. He also takes an interest in teaching young children music, particularly the cello, earning him a reputation as one of the most benevolent and famous Asian Americans in the world.
A person can’t have a good conversation about ice skating without mentioning Michelle Kwan. Born in California, Kwan began skating when she was five and won her first event when she was seven. She has achieved a record 37 perfect scores during her career, more than any other female skater in history. Although proud to be an American, Kwan highlights her Asian roots by wearing a Chinese good luck charm whenever she skates.
Jerry Yang made his name by mastering the Internet, despite the handicap of coming to America when he was ten and knowing only one English word – ‘shoe’. At school, Yang was consistently top of his class and won a place at the renowned Stanford University. In later years, he met another technical wizard, David Filo, and together the pair created Yahoo!, which went on to become one of the largest search engines on the Internet. To encourage other young people to take up web mastery, Yang and Yahoo! also launched the Yahoo!ligans program, teaching the art of the Internet to youngsters.
Connie Chung is a household name across America due to her background as a news reporter. She attended the University of Maryland before going on to become a reporter for CBS. However, Chung first really began to make her mark in 1993 when she was the first Asian news anchor for one of the major networks. She is married to talk show host Maury Povich, with whom she has one son, and lives in New York City.