David Chan Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
David Kheng Gwan Chan was an entrepreneur and businessman who served as a co-founder and chairman of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce in 1996. He also was Vice President and Trustee Emeritus of the Austin Lyric Opera, on the Board of Trustees for the Long Center, Chairman and CEO of the U.S. Asian Chamber of Commerce. Chan created and managed several businesses in different parts of the world throughout his lifetime and received numerous awards for his civic and charitable contributions.
He was born on February 7, 1927 in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma) and grew up in various parts of Asia including Myanmar, Southern China, and Calcutta, India. He eventually decided to study in the United States and left Myanmar in 1946 arriving in San Francisco. He enrolled at Chaffey College and continued his studies at Stanford University graduating two years later with a degree in political science. Chan completed his coursework towards an economics PhD at the University of Virginia and began to work for Cargill, a global agricultural commodities company. He became their Far East representative based in Manila, Philippines, but returned to the United States to work at Cargill's headquarters in Minneapolis. He eventually began his own businesses that included grain production in Ghana, the export of manganese ore, solar projects, and vitamin distribution. He moved all over the world including the Bahamas, Belgium, Ghana, and finally, Austin, Texas in 1980. In Austin, he was an active civic leader petitioning for Asian American inclusion in City of Austin business development plans and programs and helping with outreach to encourage Asian American entrepreneurship. He died on March 3, 2012.
The David Chan papers contain newspaper clippings, event programs, photographs, and awards and certificates. The items highlight David Chan's civic contributions, his professional interest in growing Austin's transnational business ties with China, his advocacy for Asian American entrepreneurship as the Chairman of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce, and educational accomplishments.
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Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
David Chan Papers (AR.2012.021). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donation Date: 2012
Final Processing and Finding Aid by Phonshia Nie and Jennifer Allen, September 2016
Detailed Description of the Collection