Gongsun Ao was from Beidi which is presently in modern Heshui Gansu. Gongsun Ao was known to be a skilled rider and archer. He entered service in the imperial palace as a cavalryman. He participated in small campaigns during the Reign of Emperor of Jing. Gongsun Ao became friends with Wei Qing and partook in his many campaigns against the Xiongnu. Gongsun Ao was promoted to a higher post as Superior Grand Master of the Palace. Later he was heavily defeated by the Xiongnu. He was charged with treason and demoted to a commoner. In 124 BCE he was able to demonstrate his martial skills as a commander and became Marquis of Heqi. In 97 he commanded a division of Li Guangli's army and was again defeated. He was sentenced to death; he managed to escape but was arrested and executed.
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