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Who Is May-Wan Kao?



Who Is May-Wan Kao

The British-born Chinese woman Gwen May-wan Kao is known for her connection with the father of fiber optics, Charles K. Kao. Charles K. Kao is well-known for using lasers to consolidate glass filaments. His dedication to media transmission led to the current Internet’s development.

In this article, you will know everything there is to know about the British-born Chinese woman, Gwen May-wan Kao. You will learn about her physical appearance, biography, husband and family, social media status, and net worth.

Physical Appearance

She is a beautiful old woman around her 80s, with short hair up to her ear. She sometimes changes her hairstyle from a low cut to the neck or a short cut to the ear.

She usually wears eyeglasses for reading. She plays tennis twice a week, making her much more athletic than one would think. Most of the time, in a formal setting, she wears a more business type of clothing, considering it is formal and her family has a reputation.

Although in the presentations regarding her husband, and only her husband, she wears casual yet expensive clothing with jewelry such as a necklace.


After graduating, while working as an engineer in London, Kao met his future wife, Gwen May-Wan Kao. She is a Chinese woman of British descent. She married her husband in 1959 in London.

Her original name is Gwen May-Wan Kao. She has an Asian heritage and comes from a British Chinese family. Her Chinese name is Huang Mei Yun.

The Kao family is from the Zhangyan township in China’s Jinshan region, which is close to Shanghai. The family would have been regarded as prosperous since they owned land.

Each generation’s sons would receive a quality education throughout the day. May-Wan Kao doesn’t have a page on Wikipedia.

She enjoys practicing tennis twice a week and enjoys watching Korean dramas. Kao attended the Catholic Church, in accordance with his memoirs, although his wife belonged to the Anglican Communion.

May also attended Anglican Communion as the family followed Roman Catholicism. She felt so comfortable at Woolwich Polytechnic that she chose to stay there and complete her bachelor’s degree there rather than apply for admission to the other, more prominent Colleges of London University.

She earned my B.Sc. in 1957. engineering, electrical. Back then, degrees were given as First, Second, Pass, or Fail grades.

She began working with Standard Telephones & Cables (STC) in North Woolwich, London, as an engineer after earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of London.

She met Kao, who worked one story below her, there and would later become her husband. Her degree was a Second as she spent more time playing tennis than studying.

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Charles Kao married May-wan in 1959, May-wan was 25 years old at this time. In 2002, Charles Kao was diagnosed with Alzheimers. He died on September 23, 2018, in Hongkong, at 84 years old. Nevertheless, his heritage and passion endured for a long time. The entire world is incredibly grateful for his inspirational work in fiber optics.

May Wan Kao now serves as the chairman of the Hong Kong-based Charles K. Kao Foundation, an organization to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s.

Her Grandparents

May-wan’s family has been well off considering the reputation of her grandfather Kao  Ch’ui. Kao Ch’ui was a Chinese calligraphy artist and a poet.

He was a prominent literary figure in China. Kao Ch’ui was a well-known member of the Nan She and a respected Confucian scholar who enjoyed book collecting.

The Nan She or South Society was involved in overthrowing the ruling Qing dynasty during the 1911 Chinese Revolution. Kao Ch’ui’s artwork is now on display in the town’s museum, which also provides a history of the political activities Kao Ch’ui has engaged in.

Kao Ch’ui got married on an unknown date…

The couple had a daughter as their firstborn, then a son two years later. After some time, however, misfortune struck the family.

Both children were affected by a measles outbreak, and both passed away from complications; the younger child was eight years old, and the older child was ten.

Kao Ch’ui’s wife had little bones and appeared frail and vulnerable. It would not have been simple to give birth. She experienced a string of miscarriages in the years following the tragedy. At last, in 1933, Gwen was born a happy and healthy child. Soon, May-wan’s younger brother Timothy was added to the family four years later.

Because of the earlier loss of the two elder siblings, her brother and May-wan lived a very pampered and protected life. Nursemaids kept constant watch while her parents were busy at dinner parties and social events. They only met them as if for a daily royal audience.

Later, home tutors came to give the kids their lessons. The primary lesson plans were readings from the well-known classics like “The Four Books”, which they learned to recite by memory.

Where She Lives 

May-Wan Kao and her two children reside and are employed in Silicon Valley, California. She stayed in Shanghai, China, during her early days as a child with most of her family members.

She lived in London for a long time, considering she grew up and studied there for her bachelor’s in science. She maintains that staying active and helping to operate a charity in her husband’s honor have made it easier for her to deal with the loss of her husband.

She awakens each weekday at seven and runs around the Chinese University campus with her helper, where she still resides in the staff housing.

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Her Husband, Charles K. Kao 

Electrical engineer and physicist Sir Charles Kao Kuen was a pioneer in creating and applying fiber optics in telecommunications.

Kao developed several techniques in the 1960s to use glass fibers and lasers together to transfer digital data, which established the foundation for the development of the Internet.

Kao was born in Shanghai, and his family migrated to Hong Kong when he was a little child. Before going to London to study electrical engineering, he spent his formative years in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Kao established the foundation for fiber optics in communication in 1966 while working at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories, the research facility of Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) in Harlow, during the 1960s. Charles Kao continued his research at Yale University, ITT (the parent company of STC), the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and other institutions.

Charles K. Kao is also known as the “father of fiber optics,” “father of broadband,” and “father of fiber optic communications.” Charles Kao received all these titles because of his “groundbreaking achievements” involving the transport of light in fibers for optical communication.”

Charles Kao was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics during the year 2009. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2010 for his “services to fiber optic communications.”

Charles Kao’s health declined in 2004 due to Alzheimer’s disease, but he still managed to recognize his family. Charles Kao refused to use life support since he had seen his father battle in the same way with dementia and was cared for by his wife May-Wan until his passing.

Social Media Status

May-Wan Kao has no name on Wikipedia pages. She cherishes playing tennis twice weekly and is an admirer of Korean dramas, and does not engage in social media.

May-Wan K. Kao’s social media status isn’t as active as some of the more famous people around her. Considering her age, she doesn’t do much on social media other than some stories written about her in news and political magazines.

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Net Worth

May-Wan Kao has total assets of at least $500 thousand. She was married to a well-known researcher and expert who bequeathed her his professional fortune.

She has additionally worked as a designer for various companies. Similarly, the Kao family hails from the Zhangyan township in the Jinshan region close to Shanghai.

They have luxurious properties and land, making the family considerably rich. The evaluation of May-Wan Kao’s overall total net worth is ongoing.

We can estimate her net worth in millions of dollars based on her career and role as chairman of the Charles K. Kao Foundation. We project that her net worth, combined with her husband’s, will exceed one million dollars. Soon, further details about her wealth will eventually be released in the media.

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