Angela Chao, Shipping Chief With Close Ties to China, Dies

Foremost Group chief executive was Mitch McConnell's sister-in-law
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2024 4:59 PM CST

Angela Chao, who ran a family shipping company and was a sister of former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, was killed Sunday in a car accident in Texas. She was the chair and chief executive of Foremost Group, an operator of bulk carrier ships with deep ties to China, the New York Times reports. "Angela Chao was a formidable executive and shipping industry leader, as well as a proud and loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife and mother," a company statement said. Chao, who lived in Austin, was 50 and had led the company since 2018.

James SC Chao, who founded Foremost in 1964, will succeed his daughter as chairman. Michael Lee will become president, per CNN. James Chao fled China with the Nationalists in the late 1940s and settled in Taiwan, later moving to the US. He and his daughter, though both US citizens, served on the boards of large enterprises in China. Angela Chao, whose sister Elaine is married to US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, served on the board of the Bank of China, a top lender to Foremost.

She also had been vice chair of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. "Although born in America, she never forgot her roots and throughout her life helped build bridges of understanding between East and West," James Chao said of his daughter in a statement. "Losing her at such a young age is something we never imagined, and our entire family is devastated with grief." (More shipping stories.)

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