Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) was born in Xikou Town, Fenghua District, Zhejiang Province, China (today the southwestern suburbs of Ningbo City). In his later years, Chiang’s grandfather established Yutai Salt Shop, which was then run by his father as a result of which the family became wealthy. Chiang’s father passed away when he was nine years old and thereafter he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandmother. Throughout his life, Chiang wrote very little about his father, but expressed a strong attachment and deeply felt emotions for his mother both before and after her death.
Chiang had four women in his life: Mao Fu-mei, Yao Ye-cheng, Chen Chieh-ju and Soong Mei-ling. Mao Fu-mei was his first wife in a marriage arranged by his mother; she gave birth to a son, Chiang Ching-kuo. Yao Ye-cheng was his concubine and adoptive mother of his adopted son, Chiang Wei-kuo. In 1921, Chiang started a relationship with Chen Chieh-ju and refers to her in his diary as “Lu,” though by 1927 she was no longer the object of his affections.
Chiang Kai-shek wooed Soong Mei-ling for six months before she agreed to marry him. Their wedding was held at 4pm on December 1, 1927. In an article titled “Our Today” Chiang wrote “Today we not only celebrate our own beautiful wedding; we also undertake to promote the transformation of Chinese society.”