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Madame Chiang Kai-Shek

Age: 105

Chinese-born, American educated politician who, with her husband, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, led the Nationalists in their fight against the Communists for control of China. Chiang and the Communists were united when Japan invaded China during World War II. But Japan's surrender in 1945 touched off civil war between the Kuomintang forces under Chiang and Communists led by Mao Zedong. Despite U.S. aid, the Kuomintang were overcome by the Soviet-supported Communists, and Chiang and his followers were forced to flee the mainland, establishing a government-in-exile on the island of Formosa (Taiwan). Madame Chiang toured the United States several times, dazzling Americans as she enthusiastically and persuasively sought support for her husband's government and for China during World War II. She moved to the United States in 1975, after the death of her husband.

Died: Manhattan, Oct. 23, 2003

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