2nd LD: Renowned Chinese American architect I. M. Pei dies at 102

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NEW YORK, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Renowned China-born American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, commonly known as I. M. Pei, died at age 102, several sources confirmed on Thursday.

Pei was born in Guangzhou, China, and raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai, before moving to the United States in 1935. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Since the 1940s, he has been the mastermind behind a wide variety of famous buildings including the glass pyramid at The Louvre in Paris, the Bank of China skyscraper in Hong Kong, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston, to name just a few.

Pei won the Pritzker Prize, known as the Nobel Prize of architecture, in 1983. In 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan honored him with a National Medal of Arts, and President George H.W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.

The Committee of 100 (C100), a premier U.S. organization of Chinese-American leaders from different fields, issued a statement Thursday evening, mourning the passing of the acclaimed architect, who was also the C100 co-founder.

"What a wonderful life and great achievements. I.M. exemplified to the utmost what it means to be Chinese American. Our deepest condolences to the Pei family," said H. Roger Wang, chair of the C100, in the statement.

Grace Meng, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, saluted Pei as "a giant," "an iconic and legendary architect whose bold and groundbreaking vision created so many famous and prominent buildings," in a separate statement following the news on his death.

"His long and distinguished career had an enormous impact on the designing of buildings and structures throughout the world, and his influence will continue to live on for decades to come," said Meng. Enditem

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