Lee Byung-chul

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Lee Byung-chul
Lee Byung-chul (crop).jpg
Born(1910-02-12)12 February 1910
Died19 November 1987(1987-11-19) (aged 77)
NationalitySouth Korean
Alma materWaseda University, Tokyo
Known forFounder of Samsung
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Byeongcheol
McCune–ReischauerI Pyŏngch'ŏl

Lee Byung-chul (12 February 1910[1] – 19 November 1987) was a South Korean businessman. He was the founder of the Samsung Group and one of South Korea's most successful businessmen. It is South Korea's largest business group.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Byung-chul was the son of a wealthy landowning family (a branch of the Gyeongju Lee clan). He attended college at Waseda University in Tokyo but did not complete his degree.[3]

Korean art collection[edit]

After his death, Byung-chul's estate (Ho-Am) was opened to the public for tours. His collection of Korean art is considered one of the largest private collections in the country and it features a number of art objects that have been designated "National Treasures" by the Korean government.[4] Ho-Am is located a short distance from the Everland park, South Korea's most popular amusement park (Everland is also owned by the Samsung Group).[citation needed]


The family of Lee Byung-chul[5]

  • Lee Byung Chul (12 February 1910 ~ 19 November 1987) - 1st chairman of Samsung.
    • 1st wife: Park Du-eul (1907 ~ 1999)
      • 1st daughter: Lee In-hee (1929 ~ 2019) - The founder of Hansol and spouse of its former chairman, Dr. Cho Wan-hae, M.D. (1927 ~ 2019).
      • 1st son: Lee Maeng-hee (20 June 1932 ~ 14 August 2014)[citation needed] - Founder of CJ Group (in which he lost the lawsuit[which?]alongside with Lee Kun-hee).[6]
      • 2nd son: Lee Chang-hee (1934 ~ 1992) - Founder of Saehan.[7]
      • 2nd daughter: Lee Suk-hee (1936 ~ ), spouse of LG board director Koo Cha-ha (1934 ~), younger brother of the emeritus chairman, Koo Cha-kyung (1926 ~) and paternal uncle of the former deceased chairman, Koo Bon-moo (1947 ~ 2018).
      • 3rd daughter: Lee Soon-hee (1938 ~ )
      • 4th daughter: Lee Deok-hee (1940 ~ ), widow of Lee Jeong-gi (1938 ~ 2006).
      • 3rd son: Lee Kun-hee (1942 ~ ) - 2nd chairman of Samsung.
      • 5th daughter: Lee Myung-hee (1944 ~ ), spouse of Chung Jae-eun (1937 ~), chairwoman of Shinsegae group and mother of Chung Yong-jin.[7]
    • 2nd wife: Kuroda (1922 ~ 2007)
      • 4th son: Lee Tae-whi (1946 ~ )
      • 6th daughter: Lee Hye-ja (1954 ~ )

Professional life[edit]


Byung-chul established a trucking business in Daegu on 1 March 1938, which he named Samsung Trading Co, the forerunner to Samsung.[3] Samsung means "Three Stars" which explains the initial corporate logos.

By 1945 Samsung was transporting goods throughout Korea and to other countries. The company was based in Seoul by 1947. It was one of the ten largest "trading companies" when the Korean War started in 1950.[8] With the conquest of Seoul by the North Korean army, Lee was forced to relocate his business to Busan. The massive influx of U.S. troops and equipment into Busan over the next year and a half of the war proved to be highly beneficial to Lee's trucking company.[8]

Lee in 1950

In 1961, when Park Chung-hee seized power in the May 16 coup, Lee was in Japan and for some time he did not return to South Korea. Eventually, a deal was struck and Lee returned but Samsung had to give up control over the banks it acquired and follow economic directives from Park's government.[8]

Federation of Korean Industries[edit]

The first step of the Federation of Korean Industries was established in August 1961. The association was founded by Samsung Group Chairman Lee Byung-chul. He was a noble leader to every employee that walked through the office.[9]

Later in life, Byung-chul served as chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries and was known as the richest man in Korea.[10][not specific enough to verify]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lankov, Andrei (12 October 2011). "Lee Byung-chull: founder of Samsung Group". The Korea Times. Retrieved 11 April 2019. It is still run by the numerous descendants of Lee Byung-chull and the centenary of his birth in 2010 being celebrated with much pomp.
  2. ^ Jung-hyun, Bang (11 February 2010). "Hail the Father of Business, Lee Byung-chul". Korea IT Times. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Woo, Jaeyeon (22 July 2011). "Memorializing the Company Founder, With Ads, 3-D and Holograms". WSJ. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Ho Am Art Museum, "Official Web Site" Archived 2011-08-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Meet Samsung's billionaire Lee family, South Korea's most powerful dynasty". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  6. ^ "Samsung boss Lee Kun-hee wins inheritance case appeal". BBC News. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b Herald, The Korea (2015-08-18). "[SUPER RICH] Lee Maeng-hee's death brings Samsung family together". Archived from the original on 2017-07-14. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  8. ^ a b c Watkins, Thaer, "The Chaebol of South Korea", Website, downloaded July 22, 2011, [1] Archived 2011-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "the Federation of Korean Industries by Naver". Naver.
  10. ^ "Samsung's development in chronological order"
Business positions
Preceded by
Chairman of the Board of the Samsung Group
March 1938 – December 1987
Succeeded by
Lee Kun-hee