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Soong Ai-ling

Nancy Soong Ai-ling
Born (1888-06-14)14 June 1888
Shanghai, Qing Dynasty
Died 18 October 1973(1973-10-18) (aged 85)
New York City, New York, United States
Spouse(s) Kung Hsiang-hsi (1881–1967), married 1914
Children Kung Ling-i
Kung Ling-kai
Kung Ling-chun
Kung Ling-chieh (Louis C. Kung)
Parent(s) Charlie Soong
Ni Kwei-Tseng

Soong Ai-ling (traditional Chinese: 宋藹齡; simplified Chinese: 宋蔼龄; pinyin: Sòng Àilíng), or Eling Soong (July 15, 1888 – October 18, 1973) was the eldest of the Soong sisters and the wife of H. H. Kung (Kung Hsiang-Hsi), who was the richest man in the early 20th century Republic of China. The first character of her given name is written as 靄 (same pronunciation) in some texts. Her Christian name was Nancy.


  • Life 1
  • Children 2
  • Media portrayal 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6


Born in China in 1909 after her graduation. In late 1911, she worked as a secretary for Sun Yat-sen, a job later succeeded by her sister, Soong Ching-ling, who later became Madame Sun Yat-sen.

Soong Ai-ling met her future husband, Kung Hsiang Hsi, in 1913, and married the following year in Yokohama. After marrying, Soong taught English for a while and engaged in child welfare work. She went to the United States in the 1940s. She died at age 83 on October 18, 1973 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She is interred in a mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester County, New York.[1]


  • Kung Ling-i (female)
  • Kung Ling-kai (male)
  • Kung Ling-chun, also known as Kung Ling-wei (female)
  • Kung Ling-chieh (male), also known as Louis C. Kung, was later an American oil executive.[2] He married actress Debra Paget in 1964; the union ended in 1980. The couple had one son, Gregory Teh-chi Kung (born 1964). Louis C. Kung died in 1996 in Houston, Texas.

Media portrayal

In the 1997 Hong Kong movie The Soong Sisters, Soong Ai-ling was portrayed by actress Michelle Yeoh.

See also


  1. ^ Hu, Winnie (May 6, 2001). "For Chinese, Bliss Is Eternity in the Suburbs". New York Times. 
  2. ^ Dawson, Jennifer "Bizarre bomb shelter becoming data center", Houston Business Journal. May 12, 2003; retrieved April 9, 2012.

Further reading

  • Seagrave, Sterling. The Soong Dynasty. Corgi Books, 1996. ISBN 0-552-14108-9.

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