Connie Chung Learns of 'Generation Connie'

'New York Times' essay reveals that she inspired a surge of namesakes among Asian-Americans
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2023 8:16 AM CDT
Connie Chung Has No Idea She Inspired 'Generation Connie'
Connie Chung, in 2016.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

"Connie" is not a particularly popular name in the US. But among a certain demographic, its popularity is off the charts: Asian-American women. Specifically, among Chinese-American women whose families watched Connie Chung as a pioneering TV journalist. Connie Wang, born in 1987, writes about the phenomenon she dubs "Generation Connie" in a New York Times essay that includes includes interviews with other Connies like herself, including Chung herself. "Asian American families from the late 1970s through the mid-’90s—mostly Chinese, all new immigrants—had considered the futures of their newborn daughters and, inspired by one of the few familiar faces on their TVs, signed their own wishes, hopes and ambitions onto countless birth certificates in the form of a single name: Connie."

Wang first realized this when she went to the University of California Berkeley, typed "Connie" into a campus directory, and discovered that her name, one she always thought was unique to her, was actually "the story of a generation." In her interviews, one trait she found common among Generation Connie is that they had strong Chinese mothers, often who had to give up careers for menial jobs upon arriving in America. They wanted better for their daughters, and Chung was one of the few role models. As for the 76-year-old Chung—full name Constance Yu-Hwa Chung—she pronounces herself "flabbergasted" and "truly floored" to learn that she was such an inspiration. (Read the full essay, which includes a photo of 11 Connies, Chung included.)

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