HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Monday, Oct. 24, the United States Mint will begin shipping the fifth coin in the American Women Quarters Program: Anna May Wong.
This marks the first U.S. currency to feature an Asian American.
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Born on Jan. 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, Wong’s birth name was Wong Liu Tsong. Her family gave her the English name Anna May, which she used for her career in the entertainment industry. She has worked in motion pictures, television and theatre, appearing in over 60 movies, including one of the first made in Technicolor.
Wong had her first leading role in “The Toll of the Sea” (1922) and is remembered as the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, as well as a fashion icon and a television trailblazer.
“This quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments by Anna May Wong, who overcame challenges and obstacles she faced during her lifetime,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson in a statement.
Wong was a champion for more representation and more multi-dimensional roles for Asian American actors. After facing discrimination in Hollywood, she traveled to Europe where she appeared in English, German and French films.
In 1960, Wong was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She died on Feb. 3, 1961.
View images of the Anna May Wong quarter here.
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Beginning this year, and continuing through 2025, the U.S. Mint is issuing up to five new reverse designs each year. The diverse group honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including civil rights, humanities, science and the arts.