Tyrus Wong’s expressive paintings caught Walt Disney’s eye and became the visual guide for Bambi. Born in China, Wong — now 104 — used forged papers to enter the U.S. under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
An immigrant from Taishan, China, Wong was 9 years old when he first arrived in California with his father in 1919. The two were what was known as “paper sons”: To enter the U.S. under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, they used
forged documents to claim they were relatives of Chinese-American
citizens. Such relatives were among the exceptions to the immigration
restrictions (which were finally repealed in 1943).