In Wikipedia, the term Li Ao is titled as a Chinese-Taiwanese writer, social commentator, historian, and independent politician. He was passed away on 18 March 2018 in his 83.
Li Ao is not a typical writer, he lived in the age of political turmoil, when his family moved to Taiwan as a result of nationalist party being defeated by CCP in 1949, all those experiences made him a critic, and dare to criticize, for which he was thrown into the jail once, after Taiwan had move to democratic politics, he serve the public service as legislator for years.
I didn’t read too much books written by him, the first time I know him is in the phoenix TV, a talk show he started, I remember it would be in early 2000s, it is amusing that sometimes I heard him bragging about his good memory, he said his memory is even better than all the computer. Indeed, when he want to prove something, he just explored his memory and promptly have the solid evidence, like who said what at exact time, basically he is right about the fact but still got tendentiousness in some way.
In his elder age, he turn to support CCP and criticize lots of aspects of Taiwan, not limited politics, I can understand him, but I can’t agree with some of his insight even though I do not have such a big mouth to contradict him on subjects.
Just like Stephen Hawking, Li Ao is also an iconic public figure, rather than his real profession as a writer, he is more like a guider or missionary to enlighten the road for young people, more or less, people born in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s were influenced by him in some way, famous talk show host DouWenTao is one of them.
He is a real independent intellectual from traditional Chinese culture whatever he holds what kind of view.
Even though he is social activist for many years, he still strike me as a lonely man, fighting alone, sticking to what he believes in alone, Hope him rest and peace in the heaven.
Notes: The featured image is a screen grab from www.zaobao.com.sg news page.