Born in Feixi, Anhui, China on August 23, 1920, Te-kong Tong, or T.K. Tong or Tang Degang, is a renowned historian with specialty in oral history. He received his B.A. degree from the National Central University (Chungking), 1943, M.A. degree and a doctorate in American history from Columbia University in 1952 and 1959 respectively. His doctoral thesis deals with diplomatic relations between China and the United States, 1844-1860, later published as US Diplomacy in China, 1844-1860 in 1964.
Dr. Tong was an instructor, Anhui College, Anhui, China, 1944-45; research Associate, Senior Research Associate, Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor and Curator of Chinese Collections, Columbia University, 1952-1972, professor of Asian history and chairperson of the Department of Asian Studies for 12 years, City University of New York, 1972-1991. In addition, he also served as consultant on Chinese studies, Delhi University, New Delhi, India, visiting Professor at Nanjing University, Shandong University, Northwest University and other institutions in China.
Dr. Tang is a prolific author who published nearly 20 books and numerous articles. Among his books, memoirs are well-known, including The Memoirs of Li Tzungjen (1979; Chinese version, 1980), The Memoirs of V.K. Wellington Kuo (1977, Chinese version 1980),and The Memoirs of Hu Shih (1977, Chinese version, 1981). Dr. Tong is married to Susan Wu, a social worker.