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EP 38: From Chinese Concentration Camp to U.S. Millionaire with Dr. Ming Wang

Tony talks with Dr. Ming Wang. As a teenager, Dr. Wang spent 3 years in Chinese concentration camps, but he survived and has gone on to become a millionaire. Even with the deck stacked against him, Dr. Wang kept fighting to create a better future for his life and finances.

Dr. Wang grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. During this time, over 20 million innocent youth were deported to remote areas to face life sentences of poverty and hard labor. For a chance to avoid the labor camps, he learned to play the Chinese violin (“erhu”) and dance allowing him to work in the Chinese youth propaganda troops. After living for three years in the labor camps, he was released and with the help of his parents, continued his education. A young Dr. Wang, eventually made his way to America with only $50 in his pockets, and worked to continue his education in the medical field.

Following his arrival in America, he pursued a medical degree at Harvard and graduated with the highest honors from Harvard Medical School and later MIT.

Dr. Wang’s autobiography, From Darkness to Sight, is an inspirational story of how one man turned fear, poverty, persecution, and prejudice into healing and love for others. It demonstrates how focus, determination, humility, and profound faith can inspire a life that, in turn, impacts the lives of countless others. The book has inspired an upcoming movie called “Sight.”

Dr. Ming Wang, Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude), Ph.D. (laser physics), is a world-class cataract and LASIK eye surgeon, philanthropist, and community activist. He is the founding director of Wang Vision Institute and a Clinical Professor for Meharry Medical College, both in Nashville, TN.

The Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration, a 501c(3) non-profit charity founded by Dr. Wang has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries worldwide, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge.

As a co-founder of another501c(3) non-profit organization, the Common Ground Network, Dr. Wang is dedicated to helping people find common ground and solutions to problems in order to achieve more success and happiness.

Dr. Wang has received numerous awards including the Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Chinese American Physicians, an honorary doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, NPR’s Philanthropist of the Year Award, and Kiwanis Nashvillian of the Year Award for his lifetime dedication to helping blind orphan children from around the world.

Dr. Wang’s patients include music stars such as Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Chesney, Naomi Judd, Nicole Kidman, Amy Grant, and a “Dancing with the Stars” winner, Julianne Hough.

Dr. Wang is the founding president of the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce, co-founder of the Tennessee Immigrant and Minority Business Group, and CEO of Aier-USA, the U.S. extension of Aier Eye Hospitals--the world’s largest eye hospital group with over 500 locations in 3 continents--which provides eye care to 3 billion people worldwide.

Learn more about Dr. Ming Wang and his many endeavors at

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