Sidney Shapiro was born in New York in 1915. He served in the U.S. Army and became a lawyer. In 1947, Shapiro arrived in Shanghai , having learned Chinese as preparation for doing translation for the military. He married a Chinese woman in 1948, and they left Shanghai later that year to settle permanently in Beijing. Shapiro was granted Chinese citizenship in 1963. He has written extensively on China, notably An American in China: Thirty Years in the People’s Republic, and translated Chinese fiction into English.
Hochstadt, Steve, "Shapiro, Sidney oral history interview" (1989). Shanghai Jewish Oral History Collection. 28.