|Born||5 Apr 1908|
|Died||27 Oct 1998|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseShi Siming (Wade-Giles romanization: Sze Szeming; courtesy name: Shi Guansheng) was born in 1908 as the eldest son of famed diplomat Dr. Alfred Sao-ke Sze. When his father was made the Republic of China ambassador to the United Kingdom, the family relocated to England during those years, and thus he was educated at Winchester College and Christ's College of University of Cambridge, earning degrees in chemistry and medicine. He completed his residency at St Thomas' Hospital in London, England, which was frequented by the poor working class, before returning to China in 1934. In the same year, he married pianist Bessie Li (Li Yueqing), with whom he would have two children. Also in the same year, he joined the Chinese Medical Association. In 1936, he was elected the secretary of the association's Shanghai branch.
ww2dbaseWhen WW2 broke out in 1937 with the Japanese invasion of China, Shi entered government service and worked as a liaison between the Chinese and United States governments. In Dec 1941, after the US entry into WW2, he was relocated to the United States to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs Song Ziwen's secretary, with the key responsibility of facilitating the flow of Lend-Lease war materiel to China.
ww2dbaseIn Apr 1945, Shi attended the San Francisco Conference, which created the United Nations, as a member of the Chinese delegation. During that conference, Sze, with the support of Brazilian Dr. Geraldo Horácio de Paula Souza and Norwegian Dr. Karl Evang, attempted to open a discussion on the establishment of a international health organization, but failed to engage the conference in meaning conversation due to the fact that the US and UK had previously agreed, in secret, to not engage in medicine related topics. After engaging in some political maneuvering, Shi was successful in recruiting Sir Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar of India to the cause, who drafted a resolution, but that eventually became bogged down as well. Finally, Shi received unofficial advice from Secretary-General Alger Hiss to push forth his ideas as a declaration rather than a resolution, which was an entirely different process in the UN. The resulting World Health Organization had its constitution signed by member states of the UN in 1946 and it formally came into being in 1948. The creation of the WHO would be his greatest achievement in life. He was later offered a high ranking position with WHO, but he had to reluctantly turn down the offer due to his position as the chief of specialized agencies for the UN Economic & Social Council. Between 1948 and 1968, he was the medical director of the UN, overseeing medical missions around the world. He retired in 1968.
ww2dbaseShi passed away in Oct 1998 at the Presbyterian Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2020
Shi Siming Timeline
|5 Apr 1908||Shi Siming was born in Tianjin, Qing Dynasty China.|
|27 Oct 1998||Shi Siming passed away at the Presbyterian Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945