Professor Lao Sze-kwang was born in 1927 in Xi'an to a distinguished family originating from the Hunan province, China. As a child prodigy, he composed his first classical poem at the age of seven. He entered the Department of Philosophy, Peking University in 1946. In 1949 he went to Taiwan and graduated from the Department of Philosophy, Taiwan University two years later. In 1955, he became lecturer at Chu Hai College, Hong Kong. Professor Lao's long association with The Chinese University of Hong Kong began in 1964 where he joined Chung Chi College as a lecturer of philosophy. He was later promoted to Senior Lecturer and Reader, as well as Head, Division of Philosophy. He formally retired in 1985 but continued to serve as Senior Research Fellow and then Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies as well as Senior College Tutor of Shaw College.
Professor Lao has held visiting positions and professorship at Harvard University, Princeton University, National Tsinghua University, National Normal University, National Chengchi University and Soochow University, Taiwan. Since 1994 Professor Lao had become Chair Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Huafan University, Taiwan. He had been a member of the Consultative Council, Research Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica since 1996. He returned to the Chinese University as Visiting Professor at the Department of Philosophy in 2000–01. He was conferred Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, by the Chinese University (2004).
Professor Lao was a prolific writer and author of more than 30 books including the 3-volume History of Chinese Philosophy; Lao Sze-Kwang's Early Writings (7 volumes); A New Compilation of Professor Lao Sze-Kwang's Academic Works (13 volumes); Lectures on Philosophy of Culture; Illusion and Hope: On Contemporary Philosophy and Culture; The World of Crisis and the New Century of Hope: On Contemporary Philosophy and Culture, II; Chinese Culture's Way Ahead: New Reflections; Philosophical Essays; and Selected Poems of Lao Sze-Kwang. For over two decades his History of Chinese Philosophy has been a must-read for teachers and students of history of Chinese philosophy or Chinese thought in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Professor Lao passed away on 21 October 2012 in Taipei.