Gong was born and raised in Merced, California. His ancestors came to the United States from China, near the end of the 19th century. His family was involved in the laundry and grocery business. He served in the United States Navy during World War II.
Gong attended Stanford University, where he earned bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees. There he met Jean Char, who introduced him to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and whom he later married.
On May 16, 2000, Gong died at age 77 from complications of diabetes.
- Joel N. Shurkin. Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, The Creator of the Electronic Age. (New York: Macmillan, 2006) p. 113.
- "Deaths". www.paloaltoonline.com. Retrieved 1 April 2018.