Richard M. Lai

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RICHARD MING LAI  

Richard Lai of Arlington, Virginia died on Thursday, February 3, 2011. Until retirement in the mid-1980s, he was Director of the Chinese University Press in Hong Kong. Prior to that, he was Director of the Hong Kong Government Information Services, and the first Chinese ever appointed to head a government agency in Hong Kong under British colonial rule. He was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978.
 
Richard Lai was born in Port St. Louis, Mauritius in 1920, he was the 9th of 14 siblings. He attended St. John's College in China, and later received his MA in education from Columbia University in New York. For 54 years he was married to Lin Taiyi who was an author and until her retirement, the Editor of the Chinese edition of the Reader's Digest.
 
Richard Lai was always courteous, always the diplomat. He was also a very independent and private person who took pride in his Chinese heritage. He and Taiyi loved to travel, and enjoyed good food. He is survived by his children Jill and Larry, and his grandchildren, Lindsay, Mark, and Anna.
 
Services private. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his honor to the Education and Science Society, Inc., www.esscare.org.


Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 9, 2011