Introducing Sok Tann’s Life Story

We are thrilled to announce the addition of a new life story to our project! This compelling account chronicles the life history of Sok Tann, a Cambodian refugee who settled in Utah after fleeing the Khmer Rouge. Sok Tann’s life history is a unique type of story for our project, as it was meticulously penned by his friend Randolph Taylor, rather than being done orally like many of our other interviews. Even so, Sok Tann’s interview offers a poignant glimpse into life in Cambodia during the upheaval that marked the Lon Nol and Khmer Rouge era, and recounts his harrowing escape from Cambodia to America in the aftermath of Pol Pot’s regime.

Sok Tann with Wife

Despite the many difficulties Sok Tann articulately describes, this narrative encapsulates the quintessential immigrant tale, highlighting his relentless pursuit of freedom after surviving the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. While reflecting on the process of compiling this life history, Sok Tann’s friend Randolph Taylor shared:

Being a born and bred American I had always taken my citizenship and the blessings of living in this free land more or less for granted. My eyes were opened as I learned the history of this family. They epitomized the stereotypical folks who fled horror in their homeland and came here with only a “dollar in their pocket” and worked hard, made successes of themselves, and became valuable American citizens… The United States of America is a better place for adopting Sok Tann.

We invite you to take some time and delve into Sok’s world—a world defined by perseverance, courage, eventual triumph, and the unwavering belief in a brighter tomorrow. You can read Sok Tann’s life story here: Sok Tann’s Life Story