Feb 7, 2022 | The Beverly Arts
Los Angeles, California, USA. February 7th, 2022. Yue-Sai Kan is an Emmy-winning television host/producer, entrepreneur, fashion icon, best-selling author, and humanitarian who is nominated for a LABA Icon Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards ceremony will take place on March 17th, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. In addition to her many accomplishments during her career, Yue-Sai Kan has been deeply committed to charity and was among the first to introduce the concept of philanthropy to China. Her contributions and initiatives have been recognized worldwide, with People Magazine calling her "the most famous woman in China” and Time magazine proclaiming her, "The Queen of the Middle Kingdom."
Over the years, Yue-Sai has built many schools and libraries in underprivileged regions of China. Her philanthropic initiatives have included donating nearly $200,000 to the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, and setting up a scholarship program in 1997 at the prestigious Peking University for outstanding female students. In 2002, UNICEF named her, alongside other international leaders and celebrities, as its first and only Global Chinese, “Say Yes for Children,” Ambassador. When chairing one of China’s largest charitable events, the Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation’s 2010 Annual Gala, Yue-Sai helped raise over $1.5 million to support 12 hospitals in the remote regions of China. To acknowledge her tremendous contribution, the Shanghai Soong Qing Ling Foundation sanctioned the establishment of the China Beauty Charity Fund (CBCF) and appointed Yue-Sai as Ambassador and Chairman. The CBCF has a sister entity in the United States, and is dedicated to the betterment and advancement of women and children through education, health, and cultural programs worldwide.
Currently, Yue-Sai is a member of the Committee of 100 which is composed of outstanding Chinese-Americans. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Ellis Island Honors Society, and Prince Albert of Monaco's Philanthropy Round Table. In early 2018, Yue-Sai became co-chairman of the China Institute in America, a century-old nonprofit organization that is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business.
Yue-Sai was born in Guilin, China and grew up in Hong Kong. Her father, Wing-Lin Kan was a renowned traditional Chinese painter and calligrapher. In 1968, while she was studying as a piano major at Brigham Young University in Hawaii, Yue-Sai entered the Narcissus Flower Beauty Pageant sponsored by the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce. She became the second runner-up, and as part of her duties, traveled around the world. This life-changing experience marked the beginning of her career in fashion, beauty, communication, and cultural exchange.
In 1972, Yue-Sai Kan moved to New York City. Soon after, she formed Yue-Sai Kan Productions and created her first major TV production, a weekly series called "Looking East". The program was the first of its kind to introduce Asian cultures and customs to a growing and receptive American audience. It garnered critical acclaim and won dozens of awards. As described by the New York Times, "Few people are able to bridge the East and West, but Yue-Sai Kan can, and does it with beauty, intelligence and grace." The series stayed on the air for 12 years, with the last two years airing on the Discovery Channel. Based on this and other work, Yue-Sai is credited as the first television journalist to connect the East and West.