Angela Chao, C.E.O. of Foremost Group, Dies in a Automotive Crash


Angela Chao, the chief govt of a transport firm and a part of a household distinguished in American politics and enterprise offers with China, died in a automotive crash on Sunday, in Texas. She was 50.

Her household confirmed her dying. Particulars in regards to the accident weren’t instantly accessible.

Ms. Chao had since 2018 been the chair and chief govt of the Chao household’s Foremost Group, which operates a world fleet of bulk provider ships. The vessels are used to move commodities like iron ore and soybeans.

She was a sister of Elaine Chao, who served as secretary of transportation underneath former President Donald J. Trump in addition to secretary of labor underneath President George W. Bush. Elaine Chao is married to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican chief.

The Chao household, led by Angela and Elaine Chao’s father, James S.C. Chao, stands out due to its deep political and business ties in each america and China. Mr. Chao fled from mainland China to Taiwan within the late Nineteen Forties with the defeated Nationalists. He moved to america in 1958 and helped discovered the Foremost Group in 1964. He later cultivated an in depth relationship with Jiang Zemin, a former schoolmate from Shanghai who rose to grow to be China’s president and who died in 2022.

Ms. Chao, alongside along with her father — each U.S. residents — was among the many few foreigners to have served on the boards of a few of China’s largest enterprises. Each had been administrators of the holding firm for China State Shipbuilding, a government-owned enterprise that makes ships for the Chinese language army in addition to for Foremost Group and different clients. Ms. Chao was additionally a former board member of the Financial institution of China, a prime lender to the shipbuilder, and a former vice chair of the Council of China’s Overseas Commerce, a promotional group created by the Chinese language authorities.

“Though born in America, she by no means forgot her roots and all through her life helped construct bridges of understanding between East and West,” Mr. Chao stated of his daughter in an announcement.

“Shedding her at such a younger age is one thing we by no means imagined, and our complete household is devastated with grief,” he stated.

The youngest of six daughters, Angela Chao was born in 1973 in Syosset, N.Y., on the North Shore of Lengthy Island, and grew up in Harrison, N.Y., a well-to-do city in Westchester County. She graduated from Harvard Faculty in 1994, finishing her research in three years.

After a short interlude in finance at Smith Barney, she joined the household enterprise in 1996, later incomes an M.B.A. at Harvard Enterprise Faculty. As Foremost Group’s chief govt, Ms. Chao emphasised orders for brand new, extra environmentally sustainable vessels that may burn different fuels.

“As slightly lady, as I used to be rising up, I used to be at all times fascinated with what my father did,” she stated in a 2019 interview.

“I used to be at all times actually proud to be a part of this legacy,” she added.

The Chao household’s enterprise hyperlinks to China attracted consideration when Elaine Chao was transportation secretary underneath President Trump, who imposed broad tariffs on imports from China. A 2021 report by the Transportation Division’s inspector common stated that Elaine Chao had used her workplace workers to assist members of her household, however two divisions of the Justice Division declined to conduct a prison investigation.

Angela Chao denied within the 2019 interview that Foremost had a deal with China past what most dry bulk carriers have in a world through which China is by far the main producer.

She was an advisory director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and a member of the Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork. She was additionally a founding member of the Asian American Basis, which opposes discrimination, slander and violence towards Asian People, and was the co-chair of its training committee.

Ms. Chao married Bruce Wasserstein, an American financier, shortly earlier than his dying in 2009. She subsequently married Jim Breyer, a enterprise capitalist in Austin, Texas, who can be a component proprietor of the Boston Celtics.

The journalist Lally Weymouth stated she acquired to know Ms. Chao across the time of the dying of Mr. Wasserstein, consoling her new buddy over dinners in Manhattan.

“On this robust city, she was real,” stated Ms. Weymouth, who’s the daughter of the late Katharine Graham, who was writer of The Washington Submit. “She acquired together with everyone.”

Along with her father and Elaine Chao, Ms. Chao is survived by three different sisters, her husband and their 3-year-old son.

Siyi Zhao contributed analysis.


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