Charles Wang lived the ultimate American Dream 1

Charles Wang’s childhood home in Flushing, at 139-19 31 Road, as it appears today.

Billionaire philanthropist Charles Wang was born in Shanghai on Aug. 19, 1944 to Kenneth, a judge in the Supreme Court in mainland China, and Mary Wang in the Communist country.

As the Chinese Civil War came to a close in the 1940s, Wang’s family fled to Taiwan.

The family, which also included Wang’s brothers Anthony and Francis, later moved to Hong Kong and then San Francisco on Sept. 19, 1952 via the S.S. President Wilson, according to CUNY Queens College, where Wang received a bachelor of science in mathematics (1967). The family settled in Flushing when Wang was 8 years old, moving into a brand-new apartment building at 139-19 31 Road.

Wang would go on to become a computer-programming trainee at Columbia University’s Riverside Research Institute in Manhattan and nearly a decade later co-founded Computer Associates International, an e-business software company, with a friend from the university, Russell Artzt.

Wang used credit cards to fund his company, which became one of the largest independent vendors of system utilities and by 1989 he was making approximately $1 billion in revenue annually. In 2000, the businessman bought a share of The New York Islanders, which he loved, as they were facing financial trouble, according to

Wang retired to go into philanthropy in 2002, and created nonprofit Charles B. Wang Community Health Centers throughout New York City to ensure Asian Americans were getting proper medical treatments.

Smoking caught up to Wang and he died from lung cancer at 74 on Oct. 21, 2018.


This story was updated to include the address of Charles Wang's childhood home in Flushing.

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