(The Washington Post) His family moved from Taiwan to the United States when Ted was 3. “Of all places, my parents said, ‘We’re going to Cleveland,’ ” Lieu says. They first lived in the basement of a woman’s home. Lieu’s parents scoured flea markets and swap meets, then resold their purchases, living on the markups. That business grew into Eastern Art, a mall gift-and-jewelry store.
“It occurred to me that my family had achieved the American Dream, from being poor to starting a business to giving me and my brother an amazing education,” says Lieu. (His brother, John, is a radiologist.) “It’s one reason I joined the Air Force, because I believed I can never give back to America what America has given to my family and me.” He served four years of active duty and now averages about four weeks annually in the reserve at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, which was where he spent Inauguration Day.