Li Lu was one of the leaders of the Chinese student democracy movement which culminated in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. His parents were victims of the Cultural Revolution: when he was a baby they were sent to labor camps and he was fostered by a succession of families for a few years, until he wound up in a state orphanage. He was then adopted, but in 1976 his adoptive family was wiped out in an earthquake and he was homeless for a year.
During the democracy demonstrations he was married in Tiananmen Square. After the massacre he escaped first to France and then to the USA where he was a student at Columbia University, receiving his bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees all on the same day.
A film, Moving the Mountain, based on his autobiography, has been made about his life.
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