Anna Chennault, China-born Washington power broker and hostess, dies at 94

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Photo: AP

Anna Chennault, the Chinese journalist who married the legendary leader of the second world war Flying Tigers squadron and, after his death, became a Republican power broker in Washington, has died at the age of 94.

A doyenne of Washington society in the 1960s, she charmed politicians and diplomats while running her late husband’s cargo airline, becoming embroiled in the Richard Nixon election scandal known as the Anna Chennault Affair, and funnelling large sums of Nationalist Chinese money to Republicans.

Chennault, also known by her Chinese name Chen Xiangmei, died in Washington on Friday three months after she suffered a stroke, her daughter Cynthia Chennault said.

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