Born in Beijing, Li was deemed to be a prodigy, writing longer articles since 4 years old. Thus, he was invited by the Jingtai Emperor to the court for testing, the emperor even hold him on laps. Thus, Li gained the favour of the emperor since his childhood. Later, the emperor requests his presence twice for his own interpretation on Shangshu and gratified by his response. In 1464, he ranked second in the court exam. He entered the Hanlin Academy afterwards. From 1465 to 1467, he was included in the project of compiling Veritable Records of the Jingtai Reign (Yingzong shilu).
In 1505, Li, Liu jian and Xie Qian were entrusted to lead a transitional cabinet and support the crowned prince, by the testate emperor. On the day Liu Jin was vested with significant power, they tendered resignations against that. But the emperor merely refused Li's.
He served as an official under four emperors for over 50 years in roles including "Grand Historian" and "Minister of Rites" and Senior Grand Secretary, the highest post in Ming civil government. He is also known for his distinctive poetry and was commissioned to compile the Collected Statutes of the Ming Dynasty.
| Chief Grand Secretary of the Ming Dynasty
1506 - 1512
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