Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78

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Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee. Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

SEOUL — Lee Kun-hee, chairman of South Korea’s top conglomerate, Samsung Electronics, died Sunday after being hospitalized for six years.

He was 78.

Born in 1942, Lee had led Samsung Group since 1987, following in the footsteps of his father, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull.

Lee Kun-hee collapsed due to a heart attack in May 2014 and remained hospitalized since then.

He is survived by a son, Lee Jae-yong, and by daughters Lee Bu-jin and Lee Seo-hyun.

Samsung Electronics’ press office released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kun-Hee Lee, Chairman of Samsung Electronics. Chairman Lee passed away on October 25 with his family, including Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, by his side.

“Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business.

“His 1993 declaration of ‘New Management’ was the motivating driver of the company’s vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society.

“All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him.

“Our deepest sympathies are with his family, relatives and those nearest. His legacy will be everlasting.”


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