How Connie Chung Became an Icon for Immigrant Families and Inspired the Name of a Generation

For immigrant families, Connie Chung's success was seen as an inspiration and a reflection of the American dream. The name "Connie" became a tangible connection to a woman who had broken barriers in the media industry.

By AHN Editor

May 17, 2023

Renowned American journalist Constance Yu-Hwa Chung, better known as Connie Chung, has made an indelible mark on the field of journalism throughout her illustrious career. 

Born in 1946, Chung grew up in Washington, D.C., as the youngest of ten children in an immigrant family from China. Her rise to prominence occurred during a time when network news was predominantly dominated by white males, and she defied the odds as one of the few women breaking into the industry.

Image Source: Chinese American Museum

Chung’s breakthrough came in 1993 when she became the second woman ever to co-anchor a network newscast, working for CBS Evening News. Throughout her career, Chung also contributed her expertise to other major television news networks, including NBC, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC, further establishing her as a respected and versatile journalist.

Beyond her impact on journalism, Connie Chung held a significant role as a representative for the growing number of new Chinese immigrants to the United States during the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Immigrant families, especially those of Chinese descent, saw Chung as a role model and named their daughters “Connie” in her honor.

Chung delved into this phenomenon, which she aptly named “Generation Connie,” in an insightful New York Times essay.

Image Source: NY Times

Generation Connie describes a generation of American-born Asian women who were named after Connie Chung, who, like her, became icons for their respective communities. Some of these women turned out to be journalists, like Chung. One of them is Connie Wang, who wrote about the article in the New York Times.

Featured Image Source: NY Times