Sun Tzu was a military leader completely dedicated to serving the state. As the ideal commander, he was detailed, organized, and respected by his men. On the battlefield, he was ruthless, swift, and inscrutable.
Ts'ao Ts'ao became King of Wei in 216 BCE and is characterized by biographers as hardworking, temperate, frugal, and ruthless. He was a keen observer of human nature and unperturbed by any condition of battle. He promoted many from the lower ranks, and even from among his former enemies. He also executed those not loyal to him, and it was said he could not be deceived.
Tu Mu was a secretary in the Grand Council of Wan-nien. It is said he served with considerable distinction and consistency.
Samuel B. Griffith notes only that Chang Yu was a "historian and critic" of the late Sung (also known as Song) dynasty (960–1279 CE).
Mei Yao-ch'en was a well-known Sung dynasty poet and writer from Wan-Ling. His historical accounts include The Art of War; he was also commissioned to prepare a comprehensive history of the T'ang (also known as Tang) dynasty (618–907 CE). His writing was influenced by neo-Confucian precepts.
Li Ch'uan was known as a writer of military strategy in the T'ang dynasty. His principle writings on the subject are still in use today.