Lee Kun-hee

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Korean spelling
Hangeul 이건희
Hanja 李健熙
I Geon-hui
Yi Gŏnhŭi
Lee Kun-hee (2013)

Lee Kun-hee (born January 9, 1942 in Daegu , † October 25, 2020 in Seoul ) was a South Korean entrepreneur and a leader of the Samsung group.


Lee Kun-hee was born the third eldest son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull . Lee had a degree in economics from Waseda University . He also received an MBA from George Washington University . Lee Kun-hee was proficient in several foreign languages , including Japanese and English . In 1996 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee . With an estimated net worth of $ 16.8 billion, he was among the 100 richest people in the world in 2017, according to Forbes Magazine , and was the richest South Korean.

Lee was CEO of the Samsung Group until 2008 . After an announcement of a possible resignation, it became public on April 29, 2008 that he had already resigned from his management position in the Samsung Group on April 22, 2008; his successor was Choi Gee-sung . In May 2008, a tax back payment of 130 million US dollars followed. In August 2009, Lee was convicted of corruption and sentenced to pay a fine of approximately € 62 million and three years probation for embezzlement. At the end of 2009, however, he was pardoned again because, as a member of the International Olympic Committee, he was important for the awarding of the 2018 Winter Olympics to Pyeongchang . In March 2010 he regained a management position as chairman of the Samsung Group at Samsung Electronics .

In May 2014, he suffered a heart attack from which he never fully recovered. He died in Seoul on October 25, 2020. A cause of death was initially not disclosed.


Lee Kun-hee was the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull . Lee was married and had three daughters and one son. His son, Lee Jae-yong, is Samsung's Vice Chairman.

His daughters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun hold management positions at Samsung Everland and Cheil Communications, respectively .

In November 2005, his youngest daughter, Lee Yoon-hyung, hanged herself in Lower Manhattan , New York , at the age of 26 . Traditionally, the parents did not attend the unmarried child's funeral.

His sister Lee Myung-hee is the chairman of the South Korean group of companies Shinsegae and the richest woman in South Korea according to Forbes Magazine.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Lee Kun-hee this message from the New York Times
  2. Forbes.com : Profile of Lee Kun-hee (2017) . Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  3. Choe Sang-hun: Samsung Head to Step Down . The New York Times of April 22, 2008 (English).
  4. The Seoul Times (2008): Samsung's Lee to Resign over Corruption Scandal .
  5. Forbes Magazine : Profile of Lee Kun-hee (2010) (English).
  6. Tax evaders pardoned - for Olympia . Süddeutsche Zeitung of May 17, 2010.
  7. a b Lee Kun-hee Returns to Samsung Helm . The Korea Times of March 24, 2010 (English).
  8. Lee Kun-hee suffers from heart attack . The Korea Times, May 11, 2014.
  9. Samsung board member Lee dies
  10. Samsung head Lee Kun-hee dies. Yonhab News Agency, October 25, 2020, accessed October 25, 2020 .
  11. ^ Al Baker: After Samsung Reports Accident, Painful Details of Suicide Emerge . The New York Times, November 26, 2005, accessed January 19, 2017
  12. The Seoul Times: Samsung Chairman's Daughter Kills Herself November 2005, accessed January 19, 2017
  13. Shinsegae Group chairwoman Lee Myung-hee  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on worldretailcongress.com (English).@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.worldretailcongress.com  
  14. Forbes Magazine: South Korea's 40 richest (English).