Huang majored in journalism at the National Chengchi University in Taipei and then served in the military for two years. In 1964, he applied to the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and studied there before transferring to a Ph.D. program at Cornell University in 1966.
On April 24, 1970, Huang and his brother-in-law, Cheng Tzu-tsai (Chinese: 鄭自才; pinyin: Zhèng Zìcái), both members of the World United Formosans for Independence, were involved in the attempted assassination of then-Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo (Chiang Kai-shek's son) in New York City. Huang approached Chiang with a gun at the Plaza Hotel, but a Diplomatic Security Service special agent pushed him out of the way, causing the bullet to strike the hotel's revolving doors. The World United Formosans for Independence later issued a statement disclaiming involvement. He pled guilty in a 1971 trial to charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm, but was granted bail before sentencing, and fled the United States. Cheng Tzu-tsai also jumped bail in 1971 after his conviction, fleeing to Sweden for asylum, but was extradited to the US in 1972, sentenced in 1973 to up to five years in prison and later served an additional prison term in Taiwan for illegal entry. Huang's action is considered a stimulus for political reform in Taiwan, which promotes the role of Taiwanese people in the political arena. He was in hiding for 25 years, returning in 1996 as one of the last persons who had not been permitted to return to Taiwan for political reasons.
In 1998, Huang became the director of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights. In 2000, he was appointed as National Policy Advisor to the President for human rights issues. He is also an avid supporter of the Green Party Taiwan since its founding. In 2012, he was given an Alumni Excellence Award by the National Chengchi University for his lifelong commitment to democracy, freedom, and social movements.
- Attempt to Assassinate Chiang Chingkuo "Human rights activist named NCCU distinguished alumnus". Preparatory Office of the Department of International Information Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). 18 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Chuang, Jimmy (May 19, 2012). "Would-be Chiang Ching-kuo assassin honored by Taipei University". Want China Times (Taipei). Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "2 Cited in Plot: Security Tight for Chiang". Spokane Daily Chronicle. UPI. April 25, 1970. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "2 Taiwanese Held in Shooting". The Milwaukee Journal. UPI. April 25, 1970. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Single Pistol Shot Narrowly Misses Chiang's Son-Heir". The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia). AP. April 25, 1970. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Taiwan native found guilty of trying to kill politician". The Montreal Gazette. May 19, 1971. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Hsueh Huayuan (2011). "Attempt to Assassinate Chiang Chingkuo". Council for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Two Would-Be Assassins Said Now in China". Lawrence Journal-World. AP. December 29, 1971. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Drugged would-be killer extradited". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP-Reuter. September 6, 1972. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Would-Be Assassin Convicted". The Milwaukee Journal. August 9, 1973. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Kuo, Patricia (February 20, 1994). "Former fugitive designs monument". Bowling Green Daily News. AP. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Taiwan welcomes would-be assassin". The Tuscaloosa News. May 7, 1996. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Eckholm, Erik (13 June 2000). "Taipei Journal; Human Rights Stalwart Has an Unlikely Resume". New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Failed Assassin of Chiang Ching-kuo Receives NCCU Outstanding Alumnus Award". Kuomintang News Network. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Deputy speaker’s remarks on rights activist spark ire". The Taipei Times. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peter Huang.|
- "Terrorist Organization Profile: World United Formosans for Independence". National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. University of Maryland. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
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