Susan, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, is the original second-generation Korean-American. She’s the first daughter and third of five children born to Dosan and Helen Ahn, who in 1902 became the first married Korean couple to enter the United States. Their Korean passports numbered 51 and 52.
With her gold-rimmed glasses, broad cheekbones, and cropped white hair, Susan Ahn Cuddy of Los Angeles looks like a typical Korean grandma. But when Susan speaks, people are amazed to hear her perfect Americanized English.
The second-generation Korean-American kids gape and ask, “How does this super-old granny speak better English than our middle-aged parents?” And when Susan reveals that she’s the daughter of celebrated patriot Dosan Ahn Chang Ho, it’s the older generation whose eyes widen, this time with reverence and awe. It’s a constant reminder of what people used to tell Susan: “Dosan is not just your father. He is the father of Korea.”