Miao Yuntai, who was born in 1894 in Kunming City, Yunnan, came to the U.S. in 1913. He first enrolled at Southwestern College, followed by Illinois University in 1914 before transferring to the University of Minnesota’s School of Mines in 1915. Miao later changed his area of study, graduating in 1918 with a bachelor of arts degree.
He worked for an iron and steel company in New York before returning to China in 1919 to become the director of the Department of Agriculture and Mining in Yunnan. In 1931, he was appointed the chief manager of Yunnan Quanye Bank, while still serving as the director of the Department of Agriculture and Mining. He later became president of Fudian Bank.
In 1955, Miao became a U.S. citizen, but gave up his citizenship and returned to China permanently in 1979. He served as the director of the Board of Directors in China International Trust and Investment Corporation and was then elected to be a member of the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress in 1980. Miao served as vice chairman of the 6th and 7th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, in 1983 and 1988, respectively.