A small world of Billy Graham with China

Forrest Sheng Bao http://fsbao.net

Preamble: In this article, you will find the relationship of many famous people with China, such as Billy Graham and Pearl Buck. By reviewing the social connections of Billy Graham, I found these famous people are connected no farther than 6 people. It's really 6-degree of separation!

Today I came to Baptist Student Ministry at Texas Tech as usual. Baptist Student Ministry has many chapters around United States, funded by many Baptist Churches in USA. I discussed with some people today about a project called "Operation Christmas Child". It is a program initiated by Samaritan's Purse, whose president is Franklin Graham. Then, my discovery started.

A staff there told me that Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham. I said, I don't know this guy. But later I figured out that I know him. To me, his Chinese name is more famous than his English name. That's why I didn't response at the first time. He has a very famous Chinese name, "葛培理". “培理” stands for Billy in Chinese and 葛 stands for Gra. And then, you can figure out his relationships with China.

Billy Graham's wife, Ruth McCue Bell, was born in China in 1920 at Hwai-anh(Huai-an, 淮安). She has also a very nice Chinese name "钟路得", where “钟” means exactly “bell” in Chinese and “路德” is the pronounciation translation of "Ruth".

They have two sons, Franklin Graham (葛福臨) and Ned Graham (葛纳德). The Chinese name of Franklin means "happiness is coming" and it also fits the pronounciation of "Franklin" in Mandarin. Their younger son's Chinese name means "gaining virtue" in Chinese. Franklin Graham, as I mentioned before, is the president of the organization which distribute gifts to children in poor place. How about Ned Graham? Ned is now holding a church in the place where his mother was born in China.

Ok, now let me finish the story of Billy Graham. Ned Graham's wife, Christina Kuo (郭瑞玉), is the grand-grand-granddaughter of Zeng Guofan(曾国藩), who was "almost" (coz at that time China don't have chancellor) the chancellor of Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China. Zeng is famous also for his student, Li Hongzhang (李鴻章), who is considered as the "Oriental Bismarck"(东方卑斯麦). I don't need spend much words about Bismarck, right? Everyone knows him.

It that all? No! Some Chinese Communists are related with them. What?! The grand-grand-granddaughter of Zeng's brother married Ye Jianying(叶剑英), former vice provost of "Whampoa Military Academy"(黄埔军校), the military academy as famous as Westpoint. Many military leaders of KMT(中国国民党) and CCP(中国共产党) are graduated from that school. Later, KMT and CCP had a big civil war in China after World War II. That war leads to now the sophisticated Taiwan problem. If Taiwan an independent country or part of China? Ah, it's hard to say, only God knows.

Ok, now forget those politicians. Let's talk about some writers by first going back to Billy Graham's wife. She was born in "Mercy Hospital"(仁慈医院), which is the biggest hospital of American Presbyterians (South) outside USA. The hospital is founder by Absalom Sydenstricker(赛兆祥). "兆祥" means "good news" in Chinese. You might say, "I haven't heard about him". Yes, but you must have heard about his daughter, Pearl Buck(赛珍珠, " 珍珠" means "pearl" in Chinese), who is the first female winner of the Pulitzer Prize(普利策奖) and Nobel Prize in Literature(诺贝尔文学奖). Indeed, she is the only female who won both of these two prizes.

But she is very unlucky, that though she spent many years in both Nanjing University (former name National Central University 南京大学/国立中央大学) and University of Nanking(emerged by Nanjing University in 1950, 金陵大学), she never went back to China after 1934. The reason is that she offended both the Republic of China gov and the People's Republic of China gov for she criticized Chiang Kai-shek(蒋介石) was a dictator and she also criticized the Communism government later respectively. Even after the US president Nixon visited China in 1972, she was still now allowed to go to China.

Pearl Buck wrote a famous novel called "Letter from Peking"(北京来信). Peking means "the northern capital" in Chinese. Another Chinese writer, Lin Yutang(林语堂) also had a famous novel "Moment in Peking"(京华烟云). He is more famous for his book "My country and my people"(吾国吾民).

Oh, there is another writer related to Chancellor Li Hongzhang. His son-in-law's granddaughter is Eileen Chang(張愛玲), the writer as famous as Pearl Buck in China. Ok, I have to stop now, otherwise you will be led by me to University of California, where many Chinese scholars live. Then you will find bunches of family connectivities.

PS: I hate reading novels coz that costs too much time. So I prefer watching movies adapted from novels. Then I did some search about "Moment of Peking". I found following result in Wikipedia: "The novel has been adapted twice into a television drama, including the most recent version in 2005, starring Zhao Wei." OMG, directors of CCTV(China Central Televisin), how can you let such an uncivilized actress to play this famous novel?

Refereces:
1. Billy Graham(葛培理), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%91%9B%E5%9F%B9%E7%90%86 (Chinese)
2. Ruth Bell Graham(钟路得), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Graham (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%92%9F%E8%B7%AF%E5%BE%97 (Chinese)
3. Franklin_Graham(葛福臨), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Graham (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%91%9B%E7%A6%8F%E8%87%A8 (Chinese)
4. Mercy Hospital(仁慈医院), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BB%81%E6%85%88%E5%8C%BB%E9%99%A2 (Only Chinese version in Wikipedia)
5.Pearl Buck(赛珍珠), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_S._Buck (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B5%9B%E7%8F%8D%E7%8F%A0 (Chinese)
6. Absalom Sydenstricker (赛兆祥)http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B5%9B%E5%85%86%E7%A5%A5 (Only Chinese version in Wikipedia)
7. Zeng Guofan(曾国藩), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeng_Guofan (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9B%BE%E5%9B%BD%E8%97%A9 (Chinese)
8. Lin Yutang(林语堂),http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lin_Yutang (English) http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9E%97%E8%AF%AD%E5%A0%82 (Chinese)
9. Li Hongzhang(李鸿章), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Hongzhang (English), http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%8E%E9%B8%BF%E7%AB%A0 (Chinese)

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