Chao Chiung Lee oral history interview and transcript
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Lee, Chao Chiung
Chao Chiung Lee, more often referred to as C. C. Lee, was born in Hainan, China in 1949. He and his parents fled from Hainan Island in February, 1950 as the People’s Liberation Army approached, to Taiwan, where he was raised. He graduated from Tunghai University with a B. A. in architecture. After two years of mandatory military service in the Republic of China Army, Mr. Lee was enrolled in a graduate program in architecture at Washington University in St. Louis with a $5000 scholarship. Upon finishing his Master’s degree, Mr. Lee first worked as an architect in training in Springfield, Missouri. He moved to Houston, Texas in 1979, and worked for Lockwood Green Inc. as a project architect. In 1983, he quit his job and started his own company, STOA, which stands for Superb Team of Architects. Under Mr. Lee’s leadership, the company has become a major player in the architectural industry in Houston, Texas. Recently, after several major mergers, STOA is increasing its global influence by setting up offices and franchises in China, Vietnam, and Nigeria. C. C. Lee became a U.S. citizen in 1980, and he has been living with his family in Bellaire, Texas for the past twenty-four years. An active participant in the Asian American community in Houston, Mr. Lee served as the president of the Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce. He is also the current president of Houston Chinese Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association, and Houston Feng-Shui Institution. Although he spent the majority of his life in the U.S., C. C. Lee considers himself a Confucian. He also retained many of his Chinese habits such as playing mahjong and drinking tea.
This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University. This collection includes audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with Asian Americans native to or living in Houston.
bilingual; Confucian values; political participation; language; social activities