- California Assembly OKs highest minimum wage in nation
- S. Korea unveils first graphic cigarette warnings
- US joins with South Korea, Japan in bid to deter North Korea
- LPGA golfer Chun In-gee finally back in action
- S. Korea won’t be top seed in final World Cup qualification round
- US men’s soccer misses 2nd straight Olympics
- US back on track in qualifying with 4-0 win over Guatemala
- High-intensity workout injuries spawn cottage industry
- CDC expands range of Zika mosquitoes into parts of Northeast
- Who knew? ‘The Walking Dead’ is helping families connect
Korean American icon Susan Ahn Cuddy dies aged 100
By Park Ju-yeon
Susan Ahn Cuddy, daughter of South Korean independence icon Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, died inside her Los Angeles home Wednesday aged 100.
The family said she died in her sleep around 1 p.m.
As the eldest daughter of Ahn Chang-ho’s three sons and two daughters, Cuddy was born in Los Angeles in 1915.
Cuddy did not live in the shadow of her father’s legacy — as the first female gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy, as the first Asian American woman to join the Navy, and later as the first Korean American in U.S. Naval Intelligence, Cuddy broke as many grounds.
She would go on to work as a Navy intelligence officer and for the National Security Agency.
As a leader and activist, she lent her hand to the Young Korean Academy and the 3.1 Women’s Association in the USA.
Even before her death, her life was a celebrated one, from the Asian American Justice Center of Washington D.C.’s American Courage Award to the designation of March 10 as Susan Ahn Cuddy Day by Los Angeles County.
She spoke about being torn apart from her father in 1926 at age 11 with the Korea Times in an interview last year.
Ahn, remembered as a key Korean independence activist, was a leader of the early Korean American community. Because of his travels abroad in independence efforts, to Shanghai, Hawaii and Mexico, Cuddy did not have the chance to spend much time with him.
“I always think of my father’s advice to be honest and have lived trying my best to regard everything with honesty,” she said. “I work hard to become a person who contributes to the U.S., as I was born here, but I cannot forget my roots as a Korean.”
Cuddy told the Korea Times last year that the most memorable moment of her life was Korean independence on August 15, 1945, the same moment her father — who died before the fall of Japanese colonialism — had worked toward his entire life.
“The reason I did not forget I was a Korean person even while living in the U.S. was because of my father’s request that I not forget my ‘Korean mind,’” Cuddy said last year. “If my father were alive, he would have said to me, ‘The South and North are divided. Shouldn’t you do something to help reunification efforts?’”
She had one son, Philip Cuddy, and one daughter, Christine Cuddy, with Frank Cuddy, an NSA codebreaker.
“My mother has always been proud of her Asian heritage and, as a courageous woman, has never been afraid of jumping into a man-centric world,” Philip Cuddy said.