Chinese American Hero: SB Woo

Print Friendly

sb-wooName in English: SB (Shien Biau) Woo
Name in Chinese: 吴仙标 [吳仙標]
Name in Pinyin: Wú Xiān Biāo
Gender: Male
Birth Year: 1937
Birth Place: Shanghai, China

Profession (s): Physics Professor and Political Activist

Education: B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Georgetown College in Kentucky; Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Awards: He is the only person historically to have received a written tribute from the Faculty Senate of the University of Delaware thanking him for “his courage, integrity, and independence of thought (that) enabled him to set a performance standard of the highest quality” as a University of Delaware trustee. Congressional Record, In Recognition of S.B. Woo, February 5, 2007, Page S1574

Contribution (s): Dr. Woo was on the faculty of the University of Delaware for 36 years until he retired in 2002. He was a Founding President of the Faculty Bargaining Unit as well as a Trustee of the University of Delaware. He was also an Institute Fellow at the Institute of Politics, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1984, Dr. Woo was elected Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, thus becoming the nation’s highest ranking Chinese American public office holder at the State level. He served one term, from January 1985 thru January 1989. In March 2000, Dr. Woo formally announced that, for the rest of his life, he would not run for public office nor accept any political appointment and that he would change his political affiliation from Democrat to Independent. By this switch, Dr. Woo shifted his personal political aspirations into non-partisan political activism for the greater Asian American communities.

Dr. Woo was a founding member of 80/20 Initiative, a Political Action Committee founded to encourage Asian American political participation in the presidential electoral process. The 80/20 Initiative strives to reach a large Asian American population through the internet to recommend the Presidential candidate who will work for equal justice and equal opportunity for Asian Americans. The objective is to shift from a traditional overall 50-50 voting pattern for a Democratic or a Republican presidential candidate to approximately a 80-20 bloc voting based on the recommendations of a non-partisan endorsement committee elected by 80/20 Initiative members.

A life-sized picture of Dr. Woo is on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

About the Author