Obituary: Kao Yu-Shu

kaoyushu Dr. Kao Yu-Shu (1913 – 2005)

Dr. Kao Yu-Shu passed away on June 15th, 2005 in Taipei, Taiwan after a three months struggle to recover from a stroke.

He was born September 3rd, 1913 in Taiwan and graduated from Taiwan Institute of Technology and Waseda University, Japan. He was the 55th person and the first Taiwanese to receive an honorary doctorate from Waseda University in 1999.

Kao Yu-Shu was married to Dr. Huang Tsu-Yung (M.D.), who passed away in 2002.

Kao Yu-Shu, known to the world as Henry Kao, was non-partisan and elected Mayor of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, in 1954 and 1964. As a result of his second election, the Kuomingtang government elevated Taipei Municipality to Province level resulting in the mayor to be appointed rather then elected. However, president Chiang Kai-Shek then appointed Kao Yu-Shu to his third term as mayor of Taipei in 1968.

As an architect by profession, Kao Yu-Shu has significantly influenced Taipei’s city layout and structure.

His political biography includes:

  • 3 terms as mayor of Taipei: 1954, 1964 and 1968
  • Minister of Transportation, 1972 – 1976
  • Minister of State, 1976 – 1989
  • Senior Advisor to the President, 1989 – 2005

As one of the island’s first non-partisan Taiwanese politicians during the absolute Chinese Kuomingtang regime, Kao Yu-Shu was a strong supporter of a free and independent Taiwan. He has four sons, two of which have passed away. The remaining two live in the US and in Austria. His grand children are Andrew & John, Jeanette & Marianne, Bernher & Berthold.


Mayor Kao Yu-Shu with US Vice President Richard Nixon on his visit to Taiwan.

Photo by Andrew Headland. Used with permission from Stars and Stripes, a US Department of Defense publication. (C) 2005 Stars and Stripes.