Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78
  • Kevin Lee
  • 승인 2020.10.25 11:34
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Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee


Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who represents the Korean business community, died at the age of 78 at Seoul Samsung Hospital in Ilwon-dong, Seoul on Oct. 25.

It has been six years since May 2014 when he collapsed at his home in Itaewon-dong, Seoul, due to acute myocardial infarction. "We decided to hold the funeral simply in accordance with the wishes of the deceased and the bereaved families," Samsung Group said on the same day. "We politely decline condolence flowers and condolence calls."

Born in 1942, the deceased became the second chairman of Samsung Group in 1987 after the death of his father, Lee Byung-chul, the founder of Samsung Group.

He has been battling the disease for six years since he collapsed at his home in Seoul, in May 2014 due to acute myocardial infarction. 
At the time, Chairman Lee suddenly showed symptoms of breathing difficulties and was taken to Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Hannam-dong, Seoul, but as soon as he arrived at the emergency room, he had a heart attack and received CPR.

Chairman Lee, who recovered his heart's function with first aid, later moved to Samsung Medical Center in Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, and underwent a "stent insertion procedure," a cardio expansion procedure, and passed the crisis. 

He underwent 10 months of long-term hospitalization treatment, but died after failing to get out of bed.

Lee was born in Daegu in 1942 as the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul. After graduating from a middle school in Japan and from a high school in Seoul, he studied at Waseda University in Japan and George Washington University Business School in the U.S.
Lee became the second chairman of Samsung Group after his father passed away on December 1, 1987, when he was 46. He said at an inauguration ceremony for the chairman at Hoam Art Hall in Seoul, "The end of the century changes are coming. We cannot survive unless we are first-class.”

Since then, he has built his dream of becoming an "ultra-class company" through transformations such as the "New Management Declaration" in 1993, which emphasized fundamental change and innovation, "Genius Management Theory" in 2003, "Crisis Theory" in 2010, and "Creative Management" in 2012.

He is survived by his wife Hong Ra-hee, former director of the Leeum Museum of Art, son Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, daughter Lee Bu-jin, CEO of Hotel Shilla, Lee Seo-hyun, chairman of the Samsung Welfare Foundation, and son-in-law Kim Jae-yeol, president of Samsung Economic Research Institute.

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