Richard Pang-Nian Bien (卞彭年, pinyin Biàn Péngnián) was the oldest child of Z. S. Bien and Kuo-Kin (Guojin) Li, two future students in American universities. He was born in about 1902 (January of 1901 according to Chinese sources), and in my previous post on the Bien brothers, I indicated that Z. S. Bien’s children were born in Shanghai, but most immigration documentation for their children, including Richard, state that the children were born in Yangzhou. It’s probable that Richard and his brothers grew up there in the care of relatives while his parents were pursuing degrees at Brown University beginning in 1906. As detailed in the previous post, Richard’s parents were in America from 1906 until 1913, when Richard was between the ages of 4 to 11 years old.
Z. S. Bien (卞夀孫, pinyin Biàn Shòusūn) and his brother F. S. Bien (卞福孫, pinyin Biàn Fúsūn) were born to a well-known and politically-connected family in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province. Z. S. Bien was the older brother – he was born on 13 September 1884 – while the younger brother F. S. Bien was born on 11 June 1886. In fact, Z. S. Bien was the oldest of six children.