By Joe Luu
Baldwin Soohoo was born in Canton, China on May 4, 1939. He is the middle child of four siblings. The Soohoos immigrated to the inner city of Los Angeles, CA on November 1951. Baldwin attended Belmont High School, home of the Sentinels, located between Beverly Blvd and 2nd Street in Los Angeles. He graduated there in summer 1954.
Baldwin was not drafted but instead volunteered to be part of the U.S. military after finishing high school. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves and went to Fort Ord located in Monterey, CA in the summer of 1955 for Basic Training. His military specialty was an administrative assistant and clerk. Baldwin was honorably discharged after one year of service as a Private due to his family’s immigration status.
He went to work for TRW, Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, an American corporation, that specialized in aerospace for many years before attending Cal State Los Angeles in 1969. He graduated Cal State LA college as a business administration major. He married Yvonne, in the Fall of 1969. After college, he worked for Pioneer Mutual Life as an insurance sales agent. “I was always calling people, doing many follow-up calls, ‘NO’ means not now, I stopped by and door knocked on people’s homes, etc.” said Baldwin.
He was selected as the top five salespeople in the company. He was a proud participant of the Million Round Member for five years in a round. This prestigious position was given only to those who made more than one million dollars in sales. This was only awarded to the top three percent of the industry.
Baldwin and his wife are currently retired. They spend their golden years traveling around the world. They just came back from Europe and Southeast Asia. “We traveled on a cruise to Southeast Asian, we love Thailand and Vietnam” said the couple. They have two children. Their son is a 44-year-old lawyer and their daughter is a 51-year-old school teacher.
Baldwin’s words of wisdom “No matter what you do, make sure you enjoy doing it, do not waste time”.
(This is one of a series of reports about Stop AAPI Hate Sponsored by CA State Library SH Grants )