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    May Wan Kao: The Woman Behind the Father of Fiber Optics

    May Wan Kao: The Woman Behind the Father of Fiber Optics

    May Wan Kao or Gwen May-Wan-Kao is the wife of Charles K. Kao, the father of fiber optics. Though she did not have a career in science and technology, May Wan played a crucial role in her husband’s success. 

    She assisted him with his study, giving him financial and emotional support. Her strong commitment and support for her husband’s efforts helped the communications industry develop.

    Who is the wife of Charles K Kao? Amazing facts about her

    NameGwen May-Wan-Kao
    Date of birth Somewhere in 1934.
    Born PlaceUnited Kingdom
    Age88 years (as of Feb 2023)
    HusbandCharles K Kao
    Nationality British 
    Ethnicity Chinese
    Famous forBeing the wife of Charles K Kao
    Net worth$500,000

    Gwen May Wan Kao (Huang Mei Yun) is the wife of Late Charles K. Kao, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist known as the “Father of Fiber Optics.” They tied the knot in 1959 and had two children together, namely Amanda Kao (born in 1963) and Simon Kao (born in 1961).

    While May Wan did not have a formal career in science, she supported her husband’s research and played a crucial role in his success. After Charles passed away in 2018, May Wan continued to honor his legacy through charitable efforts.

    Charles Kao’s wife is an Architect by profession, they both attended the University of London. The duo’s first encounter was at Standard Telephones and Cables while working in the same firm.

    The family attended the Roman Catholics on the other hand May followed Anglican Communion.

    Now let us delve into Charles K Kao’s Biography.

    Remembering Charles K. Kao: A Pioneer in Optical Fiber Technology and Beyond

    On November 4, 1933, Charles K. Kao was born in Shanghai, China. He was raised in Hong Kong and went to the Diocesan Boys’ School for his secondary education. Kao developed a keen interest in science early on, and his early exposure to radio communications served as an inspiration for his subsequent work in fibre optics.

    Charles K. Kao -  Optical Fiber Technology and Beyond

    The parents of Charles K. Kao were from Jiangxi province in China. His mother, King Tsing Fong, was a homemaker, while his father, Kao Chun-Hsiang, was a lawyer who studied at Michigan Law School. Upon turning 16, Kao’s family relocated to Hong Kong in 1949.

    What was the Qualification of Charles K Kao?

    Charles K. Kao had his early schooling in Hong Kong before relocating to the UK to enroll in University College London’s Electrical Engineering program, where he graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor’s degree. The next year, in 1965, Kao graduated from Imperial College London with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. 

    Kao concentrated on optical communications throughout his academic career and made a number of significant contributions to the subject, including proving the viability of long-distance fiber-optic communication. His breakthrough transformed communications, and he received multiple honors, including the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Awards Won by Charles K Kao

    Charles K Kao Awards
    Name of AwardYear
    IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award1985
    Faraday Medal 1989
    Alexander Graham Bell Medal1989
    Japan Prize 1996
    CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) 1996
    Charles Stark Draper Prize 2001
    Royal Medal 2004
    Nobel Prize in Physics (shared with Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith)2009

    How did Charles K Kao die?

    On September 23, 2018, Charles K. Kao passed away in Hong Kong. Before his death, he had suffered from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases for a lengthy period of time.

    Gwen May-Wan-Kao is actively participating in charitable acts being the chairman of the Charles K Kao Foundation which stands for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.


    Now you might be clear about Who is the wife of Charles K Kao is?  May Wan Kao contributed significantly to her husband Charles K. Kao’s groundbreaking work in the realm of fiber optics. May Wan supported her husband financially and emotionally during his studies despite not having a career in science and technology. 

    May Wan’s work with the Charles K Kao Foundation, which supports people with Alzheimer’s disease, allowed her to carry on Charles’s legacy after he had passed away. May Wan is a role model because of her unwavering support of her husband’s endeavors and commitment to charitable causes.

    Related Topics


    Who is the wife of Charles K Kao?

    Gwen May-Wan-Kao is the wife of the Late Charles K Kao.

    How did Charles K Kao die?

    Charles K Kao suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease due to which he died on September 23, 2018.

    Did Charles K Kao win Noble Prize?

    Yes, Charles K Kao won Noble Prize for his research on “Transmission of light through glass medium.”

    Who is Kao-Chung-Hsiang?

    Kao-Chung-Hsiang was the father of Charles K Kao, he studied at Michigan Law School and was a Lawyer.

    How many children do Charles K Kao and May-Wan-Kao have?

    Charles K Kao and May Wan Kao have 2 children, namely Simon Kao and Amanda Kao.

    What is May Wan Kao’s age?

    Her birthdate is not publicly available, however, she was born somewhere in 1934. As a result, she might be 88 years old in 2023.

    About Author

    Collin Miller


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