Li Zhisui

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Li Zhisui
Native name 李志绥
Born 1919 (1919)
Beijing, China
Died February 13, 1995 (aged 75)
Carol Stream, Illinois, U.S.
Citizenship  People's Republic of China
Alma mater West China Union University
Occupation Physician of Mao Zedong
Notable work Private Life of Chairman Mao
Spouse(s) Lilian Wu Shenxian
Children Li Chong, Li Erchong

Li Zhisui (simplified Chinese: 李志绥; traditional Chinese: 李志綏; pinyin: Lǐ Zhìsuī) (1919 – February 13, 1995) was Mao Zedong's personal physician and confidante.[1] He was born in Beijing, China in 1919. After emigrating to the United States, he wrote a biography of Mao entitled The Private Life of Chairman Mao. The biography was based on his recollection of journals he had kept, and later found expedient to destroy, while serving as physician to Mao.

In the summer of 1968 and during the Cultural Revolution, Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, placed Li's life in danger by accusing him of trying to poison her. Li managed to hide out, living incognito with the workers of the Beijing Textile Factory. These workers were among the 30,000 Mao dispatched to Qinghua University to quell the warfare there between two factions of the Red Guards.

Li's book about Mao is universally regarded as of great interest, but critics are numerous.[citation needed]

On February 13, 1995, Li died of a heart attack at his son's house in Carol Stream, Illinois, where he had been living since emigrating.

As a physician, Li was interested in psychiatry. In October 1986, Li wrote the Preface for the first Chinese textbook on psychopharmacology, "Psychopharmacological Treatment for Psychiatric Disorders." [Editors: Drs. Neng Cai (Tsai)(蔡能), Hong-zhang Shi (史鸿璋), etc., Shanghai Scientific Technology Publisher, May 1987]


The private life of Chairman Mao: the memoirs of Mao's private physician, Publ. Random House, New York (1994), ISBN 0-679-76443-7


  1. ^ Derek Davies, OBITUARY: Li Zhisui, The Independent, 17 February 1995
  • Li Zhisui on Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009

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