Chinese American Heroine: Lisa Ling

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lisa-lingName in English: Lisa Ling
Name in Chinese: 凌志慧
Name in Pinyin: Líng Zhìhùi
Gender: Female
Birth Year: August 30, 1973
Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Profession(s): Television Journalist, Author

Education: High School Diploma, Del Campo High School, Fair Oaks, California, 1991; no degree, History, University of Southern California

Awards: 2008, Dove Real Beauty Award, Dove (Unilever) & American Women in Radio and Television; 2008 Hildegard of Bingen Woman for the World Award, Saint Scholastica Academy; Nominated for four daytime Emmy Awards (2000-2003) for The View.
Nominated for an Emmy Award (2008) for Outstanding Informational Programming (National Geographic Explorer) of the episode, “Inside North Korea.”

Contribution(s): Lisa Ling has been working in television for 12 years. At age 16, she auditioned for and was chosen to be one of four hosts of “Scratch,” a nationally syndicated teen magazine TV show out of Sacramento. By the time she was 18, Ling had become one of the youngest reporters for Channel One News, the network seen in middle and high schools across the country. Despite working more than 40 hours a week, she also attended the University of Southern California, even making the Dean’s list in her freshman year. However, due to her numerous commitments, she left college in her junior year.

Before the age of 25, Ling became Channel One’s senior war correspondent. She hunted down cocaine processing labs in the Colombian jungle, conducted interviews with members the FARC guerrilla group in Colombia, covered the civil war in Algeria, the refugee crisis in Albania, and shared tea with the Dalai Lama. In 1996, she participated in a joint investigation with Time Magazine into a Russian company accused of smuggling nuclear weapons. She was the first American television reporter to interview the company’s owner. She reported from more than two dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Algeria, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan, India and Iran. She also produced eight documentaries for PBS, several of which won awards.
For the Oprah Winfrey Show, Ling has been sent to cover the Lord’s Resistance Army and AIDS orphans in Uganda, bride burning in India, and gang-rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1999, she became co-host of Barbara Walter’s hit daytime talk show, The View. During her time there the show won its first daytime Emmy. Ling contributed the perspective of someone in her twenties on women’s issues to the show.

She left The View at the end of 2002 to return to international reporting and in 2005 became the first woman to host National Geographic’s flagship Explorer series, the first female host in its twenty-year history. For the program, she investigated the increasingly deadly drug war in Colombia, examined the complex issues surrounding China’s one-child policy, and explored the phenomenon of female suicide bombers in Chechnya and Israel’s occupied territories. She also explored the hidden and dangerous culture inside American prisons as well as MS-13, an organization dubbed by law enforcement as “the world’s most dangerous gang.” She also co-authored a National Geographic book entitled, “Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood.”

Ling is a member of The Committee of 100, a national non-partisan organization composed of Chinese American who have achieved positions of leadership in the United States.

In April 2001, Ling fulfilled her late Uncle John’s dream by running and completing the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:34 while raising over $100,000 and awareness for pediatric cancer and the “Ali & Dad’s Army” foundation.

Philanthropy:
Lisa Ling has been working in television for 12 years. At age 16, she auditioned for and was chosen to be one of four hosts of “Scratch,” a nationally syndicated teen magazine TV show out of Sacramento. By the time she was 18, Ling had become one of the youngest reporters for Channel One News, the network seen in middle and high schools across the country. Despite working more than 40 hours a week, she also attended the University of Southern California, even making the Dean’s list in her freshman year. However, due to her numerous commitments, she left college in her junior year.

Before the age of 25, Ling became Channel One’s senior war correspondent. She hunted down cocaine processing labs in the Colombian jungle, conducted interviews with members the FARC guerrilla group in Colombia, covered the civil war in Algeria, the refugee crisis in Albania, and shared tea with the Dalai Lama. In 1996, she participated in a joint investigation with Time Magazine into a Russian company accused of smuggling nuclear weapons. She was the first American television reporter to interview the company’s owner. She reported from more than two dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Algeria, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan, India and Iran. She also produced eight documentaries for PBS, several of which won awards.
For the Oprah Winfrey Show, Ling has been sent to cover the Lord’s Resistance Army and AIDS orphans in Uganda, bride burning in India, and gang-rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1999, she became co-host of Barbara Walter’s hit daytime talk show, The View. During her time there the show won its first daytime Emmy. Ling contributed the perspective of someone in her twenties on women’s issues to the show.

She left The View at the end of 2002 to return to international reporting and in 2005 became the first woman to host National Geographic’s flagship Explorer series, the first female host in its twenty-year history. For the program, she investigated the increasingly deadly drug war in Colombia, examined the complex issues surrounding China’s one-child policy, and explored the phenomenon of female suicide bombers in Chechnya and Israel’s occupied territories. She also explored the hidden and dangerous culture inside American prisons as well as MS-13, an organization dubbed by law enforcement as “the world’s most dangerous gang.” She also co-authored a National Geographic book entitled, “Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood.”

Ling is a member of The Committee of 100, a national non-partisan organization composed of Chinese American who have achieved positions of leadership in the United States.

In April 2001, Ling fulfilled her late Uncle John’s dream by running and completing the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:34 while raising over $100,000 and awareness for pediatric cancer and the “Ali & Dad’s Army” foundation.

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