Ming Li Tchou comes from a highly literary and intellectual family in Guangzhou, China. Her grandfather was a judge and Dean of the Law School at Zhongshan Daxue. Both her parents were accomplished scholars in Chinese arts and letters.
Ming is a graduate of Youngstown College in Pittsburgh, PA, and obtained her certificate as a medical technologist from East Texas. She and her husband, Dr. M. F. Tchou, came to Minneapolis in 1961 and Ming has been an active member of the Chinese community here ever since. Through her two gift shops, Ming's Import Gallery, she established a Chinese cultural presence at many community and educational events, and brought about an awareness to Chinese art in many circles. A tireless volunteer, she was a founding member of the Chinese Senior Citizens Society and the U.S. China People Friendship Association.