Hundreds gather to protest
Hmong supporters rally at Sacramento federal court
Justice Dept. drops case against Hmong Americans
Avid lobbyist for Hmong
Dec. 1929 - born to farmers in a Laotian village.
WWII - Becomes a teenage translator for the French, fighting the Japanese in Laos. Trains at French school.
1961 - Recruited by the CIA to lead a secret army of Hmong soldiers against Laotian Communists/ North Vietnamese.
1975 - Lives in Montana before moving to Orange County.
1980s - Forms Neo Hom to aid insurgents in Laos fighting Communists.
2003 - Meets secretly in Amsterdam with Vietnamese officials who seek his support for normalized U.S. trade relations with Laos. He asks Vietnamese to pressure Laos to stop persecuting Hmong.
2007 - Federal authorities charge him and eight others with planning to overthrow Communist government of Laos, sparking Hmong protests. Spent six weeks in jail.
2009 - Charges dropped.
2009 - Plans to return to Laos to seek reconciliation. Cancels after Communist regime says it would execute him as a war criminal.
2010 - Attends Hmong International New Year celebration in Fresno, later hospitalized.
Jan. 6, 2011 - Dies at age 81 in Clovis.
- Vang Pao, 2008