Calvin B.T. Lee and Audrey Lee

Dr. Calvin B. T. Lee was born and raised in New York City. He earned his BA and LLB from Columbia University and a LLM and a doctorate of juridical science from New York University.

When he was 17, his father died, leaving him as the general manager of Lee's Restaurant, New York City’s oldest Chinese restaurant. He managed the restaurant for seven years while completing his undergraduate and legal studies at Columbia. 

He published his first book, Chinese Cooking for American Kitchens in 1958, a few months after passing his bar examinations and joining a Wall Street law firm specializing in international law. He took a leave of absence in 1961 to formulate and direct an innovative program for Columbia College. In 1968 he was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts of Boston University where he also served as acting president and still later as executive vice-president.

He was popular with students and faculty, but being interested in a more permanent position, he became chancellor of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from 1971 to 1976. He resigned to become a full vice president at the Prudential Insurance Company in charge of evaluating the educational, training and developmental needs of the company, where he died of cancer at age 49 in 1983 at his home in Chatham Township, New Jersey.

He was the author of several books on higher education, political science and Chinese cooking and culture.  

His wife and co-author of the Gourmet Chinese Regional Cookbook, Audrey Evans Lee was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Barnard College. She, too, is an expert cook and rivaled her husband in the preparation of Chinese specialties for family dining and entertaining.

Following her husband’s death, she went on to earn an MBA from New York University and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. She was ordained by the Presbyterian Church [USA] and served for a number of years as an intentional interim minister. Now retired and living in Somers, NY, she serves as a docent at the Katonah Museum of Art and a member of the board of the Friends of the Somers Library. She is an artist, an active local singer, and an enthusiastic traveler.