In 1935, 17-year-old I.M. Pei left his family in Shanghai, China, to study architecture in the United States. Though he had intended to return home after earning his college degree, the Japanese invasion of China and the outbreak of World War II changed his plans. Following the Communist takeover of China in 1949, Pei decided to remain in America to develop his budding architectural career, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1954. Over the next half century, Pei would establish himself as one of the leading architects in the world. Best known for his dazzling glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre, Pei has designed dozens of other critically acclaimed structures, including the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Pei's latest project, completed when he was 91 years old, is the widely praised Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.
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