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Born in Tong County, Beijing, she participated in democracy campaign in early years. She was married to Feng Yuxiang in 1924. During Sino-Japanese War, she organized "War-time Children Fostering Commission" and served as vice chairman. After the war, she founded China Women Association and became its chairman. In January 1948, she was elected central executive member of Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang. She joined Communist Party of China in December 1958.
After formation of the People's Republic of China, Li was appointed as the first Minister of Health of the PRC central government. She also served as chairman of Red Cross Society of China. Her other posts included vice chairman of China-USSR Friendship Association, member of Commission of Culture and Education of the State Council, vice chairman of China National Sports Commission, and vice chairman of China People's National Commission of Children Protection.
Li served as a standing committee member of 1st to 3rd Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and vice chairman of 4th CPPCC.
She died in Beijing in 1972.
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