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Zhisui Li Edit Profile

physician , writer

Li Zhisui was Mao Zedong's personal physician and confidante as well as writer.


Mr. Li was born in Beijing, China, in 1919.


Li Zhisui earned medical degree at an American school in China.


After emigrating to the United States in 1988, Mr. Li 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. Mr. 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.

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


  • Mr. Li's book about Mao, The Private Life of Chairman Mao, is universally regarded as of great interest, but critics are numerous.


Li Zhisui married Lillian (deceased).

Lillian Wu Shenxian


  • OBITUARY: Li Zhisui | The Independent Li Zhisui, the late Chairman Mao's personal physician, must take an honoured place in the annals of China. Dr Li's book The Private Life of Chairman Mao painted an extraordinary full-length portrait of the tragically flawed revolutionary leader, complete with warts and feet of clay.
  • Dr. Li Zhisui, 75, Who Wrote Memoir Critical of Mao - NYTimes.com Dr. Li Zhisui, the personal doctor of Mao Zedong whose recently published memoirs portrayed the Chinese leader as a manipulative egomaniac with little tolerance of dissent and a penchant for young women, died Monday at his home in suburban Chicago. He was 75. The cause apparently was a heart attack, said Jason Epstein, Dr. Li's editor at Random House.