Anna May Wong is the first Asian American on a US quarter


Anna May Wong, famous Chinese-American actress is shown in this undated photo.

The first U.S. quarter featuring an Asian American will go into circulation on Oct. 24, the U.S. Mint announced. The quarter will depict Anna May Wong, considered the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. 

The obverse or “heads” side of the coin will feature a portrait of George Washington designed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser in 1932. The reverse or “tails” side will be a close-up image of Wong resting her head on her hand, framed by the lights of a marquee sign, the U.S. Mint said. It was designed by Emily Damstra and sculpted by John P. McGraw, according to the U.S. Mint. 

It will be produced at Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia. 

The reverse of the new quarter design.
The obverse of the new quarter design.

Wong, born 1905 in Los Angeles, California, was a trailblazing actor in the 20th-century during the rise of the film industry and a champion for Asian American representation in film, according to the U.S. Mint. She appeared in dozens of movies. Her first leading role was in “The Toll of the Sea” in 1922. She appeared in one of the first technicolor movies and became the first Asian American lead actor to star in a T.V. show with her role in “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong,” according to the U.S. Mint. 

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