Lee Insurance celebrates 125th year in New York

Lee NY staff
It is rare that an independent insurance agency makes it into a Museum, but Harold Lee and Sons is itself a rarity. To mark its 125th Anniversary and to establish its place as a cornerstone in the enabling of Chinese American commerce, The Museum of Chinese in America mounted a new exhibition exploring the legacy of the agency's founding family - "The Lee Family of New York Chinatown since 1888", on view from October 23, 2013 through April 13, 2014.

Today, Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc., under the direction of Lee family members Steve Boon and Sandra Lee Kawano, serves Chinatown and New York City at an enviable level, bringing major insurers to serve the growing community in lower Manhattan and elsewhere in the City. The estimated Chinese population in NYC is better than 800,000 and in Chinatown better than 100,000. It is a major tourist center and is comprised of hundreds of businesses of all types. From its modest origins as a grocery store on 31 Pell Street in 1888, the Lee family business rose to prominence through the decades to become one of the most influential agencies in New York.
Its leaders have played important roles in insurance associations, enterprises and in the very delivery of insurance to what started as an immigrant market, across generations of progress.

"In the course of providing the historical research and documentation for the exhibition, we came to have a much deeper appreciation of our family's history, which is strongly interwoven into Chinatown's development over 125 years. It has been a fascinating journey of discovery for us and we hope others will find it interesting as well," said Sandra Lee Kawano, granddaughter of Harold L. Lee.

Find out more about the Lee family history in Chinatown. Read this PDF, which contains the entire article from the Insurance Advocate.



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