BEN FONG-TORRES BROKE THE COLOR BARRIER AS AMERICA’S FIRST CHINESE AMERICAN TO BECOME A SENIOR EDITOR OF A NATIONAL MAGAZINE.
Ben is the son of hard working immigrant parents who came to America with fake IDs, escaping famine and war in China. Ben grew up working at his family’s Oakland Chinatown restaurant. In 1958 Ben’s father accepted an exciting offer to become a “Chef-Partner” of a brand new restaurant in Texas where segregation was legal. He closed his Chinatown restaurant and brought 12 year old Ben with him to help him with English. When the new restaurant opened his dreams were crushed. He and young Ben were housed in a two room shack like slave quarters in the back parking lot with two other cooks. It is here in 1950s Texas where Ben sees racism firsthand.
His story will inspire our generation and future generations in a world of still too few Asian American role models in American Media. As the world discovers “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first Hollywood movie in 25 years with all Asian actors in leading roles, the outstanding true achievements of America’s own Asian American community remain nearly unknown in mainstream media.
Against all odds, Ben became the unlikely and charismatic hero of the sex, drugs and rock and roll era who lived to tell it all. His outstanding achievements should be celebrated as a source of inspiration for generations to come.
NOW is the time to tell Ben Fong-Torres’ story!