As the eldest son of the late paramount leader, Deng Pufang, 51, has experienced the tumult that came with his pedigree. During the Cultural Revolution, fanatical Red Guards either pushed him or made him fall from a four-story building. The fall broke his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down. But after his father made his third comeback, in 1978, the paraplegic Pufang used his connections to create the Chinese Federation for the Disabled, which is now a multimillion-dollar charity.

Pufang and his siblings have all prospered because of the fame and power of their father; without him, life could...

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