Sterling Seagrave

Sterling Seagrave
Born (1937-04-15) 15 April 1937
Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Occupation Historian

Sterling Seagrave in an American historian (b. 1937). He is author of The Soong Dynasty, The Marcos Dynasty, Gold Warriors and numerous other books which address unofficial and clandestine aspects of 20th Century political history of the countries in the Far East.

Early life

Born in Columbus, Ohio on April 15, 1937, Seagrave grew up on the China-Burma border, the fifth generation of an American family living in the Orient for nearly two centuries (his father was Dr. Gordon Seagrave, author of Burma Surgeon[1]).He and his family moved to Corpus Christi, Texas and he attended W. B. Ray Highschool from 1953 to 1955.


As an investigative journalist in Asia, Seagrave contributed to many major newspapers and magazines. His books include The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family, Opération Lys d'or (Operation Golden Lily in English), Yellow Rain: A Journey Through the Terror of Chemical Warfare, and Dragon Lady.

This last book challenges the notion that the Empress Dowager Cixi used the Boxers in the Boxer Rebellion. Kang Youwei is said to be the source of false stories which stained her reputation. Cixi is portrayed sympathetically, and since Seagrave is sometimes criticized for sensationalism, this debunking of myths about the Empress lends credence to the account.

In his review of The Soong Dynasty, professor Donald G. Gillin of Vassar College strongly refuted its major points, and called the book 'so biased, so unreliable, and so riddled with errors, ... much of it could be classified as fiction rather than as a work of history'.[2][3]

In its review of Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold, which dealt with allegations that post World War II the CIA had misappropriated billions of dollars of Japanese war loot,[4] BBC History Magazine noted that whilst "numerous gaps remain.... this is an important story, with far-reaching implications, that deserves to receive further attention".[5]

Personal life

He and his wife and collaborator, Peggy Sawyer Seagrave, live in Europe.



  1. Seagrave, Gordon S., Burma Surgeon, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1943
  2. Donald G. Gillin (1 January 1986). Falsifying China's History: The Case of Sterling Seagrave's The Soong Dynasty. Hoover Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8179-5093-4.
  3. Donald Gillin, 1930-2005
  4. Seagrave, Sterling; Seagrave, Peggy (2003). Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold. Verso Books. ISBN 978-1-85984-542-4.
  5. Attar, Rob (January 2006). "Gold Warriors (review)". BBC History Magazine. Vol. 7 no. 1. Bristol Magazines Ltd. p. 62.

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