Lee Soo-man

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Not to be confused with Lee Man-soo.
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Soo-man
Born (1952-06-18) 18 June 1952 (age 64)
Nationality South Korea
Education M.A. in Computer Engineering
Alma mater California State University,
Seoul National University
Occupation Founder of S.M. Entertainment
Net worth US$168 million (2013)

Kim Eun-jin (wife)

Lee Hyeon-gyu (son)

Sunny (niece)
Korean name
Hangul 이수만
Hanja 滿
Revised Romanization I Su-man
McCune–Reischauer Yi Su-man

Lee Soo-man is a South Korean musician, MC, and the founder and producer of Korea's largest entertainment company S.M. Entertainment [1] He is also called the 'President of Culture', as he was the pioneer of the Hallyu Wave. Lee Soo-Man made his debut as a singer in 1972, when he was a student at Seoul National University. He founded S.M. Entertainment in 1989, which is now the largest management and record label in South Korea.


1952–1980: Early years and singing career[edit]

Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea on 18 June 1952, and attended Seoul National University between 1971 and 1979.[2][3] He debuted as a singer in South Korea in 1972, releasing songs such as "Happiness" and "One piece of dream". Besides singing, he also worked as a DJ and TV host.[3]

In 1980, he formed the band 이수만과 365일 (Lee Soo Man and 365 days). However, media censorship policies under the Chun Doo-hwan government discouraged him from a career in the Korean music industry.

1980–1985: Studying in US[edit]

In the early 1980s, Lee decided to pursue a career in engineering, and moved to California to work on a masters degree at California State University, Northridge,[4] where he witnessed the rise of "superstars of the MTV generation" such as Michael Jackson.[1] Thus in 1985, he returned to Korea "with a vision of what the Korean music industry could be."[3]

1985–present: Entertainment Producer[edit]

Following his return to Korea, Lee continued to work as a DJ and presenter. His return was a success, as he was successful in his music, MC, and radio DJ career, and also went on to pursuing a career and gaining success in the restaurant business

Personal life[edit]

Lee Soo-man's wife, Kim Eun Jin, died from cancer on 30 September 2014.[5][6][7]



  • Lee Soo-man, 1977
  • Lee Soo-man, 1978
  • 애창곡집, 1978
  • Greatest, 1980
  • Lee Soo-man, 1983
  • Lee Soo-man, 1985
  • 끝이 없는 순간, 1986
  • NEW AGE 2, January 1989
  • NEW AGE, November 1989


  • 1997 SBS Seoul Music Award for Best Record Producer
  • SBS Seoul Music Award for Most Popular Song Producer
  • 1998 SBS Seoul Music Award for "Best Record Producer"
  • 2000 Good Deed Artist Prime Minister Commendation Award
  • 2004 SBS Producer of the Year
  • 2005 Certificate of Merit as Honorary Ambassador of LA given by the Mayor of LA
  • China's South-East Music Chart Awards:Best Overseas Producer
  • 2008 Mnet Golden Disk Awardfor Record Producer of the Year
  • 2009 Château Mouton Rothschild: Commanderie de Bontemps
  • 2011 Seoul Cultural Arts Awards for Pop Music Producer's Award
  • The 2nd Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards The Orders of Cultural Merit (the highest honor awarded at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards)
  • 1st Korean Music Copyright Awards: Album Producer
  • 2012 1st Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Kpop Contribution Award
  • The Korea Society 55th Anniversary Gala: Dinner Culture Award Honoree
  • 2016 16th Top Chinese Music Award


  1. ^ a b "Lee Soo Man: Taking Korean Pop Culture Global". Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  2. ^ "KPOP NEWS - SM’s Lee Soo Man Speaks at Seoul Natl. University as Alumni Speaker | Mwave". mwave.interest.me. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b c [http:// editorial/history-k-pop-chapter-4-how-lee-soo-mans-first-big-fail-resulted-koreas-modern-pop-star "The History of K-pop, Chapter 4: How Lee Soo Man's First Big Fail Resulted in Korea's Modern Pop Star System | MoonROK"] Check |url= value (help). moonrok.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18.  line feed character in |url= at position 8 (help)
  4. ^ Asia, Forbes. "Korea's S.M. Entertainment: The Company That Created K-Pop". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  5. ^ "Lee Soo Man's (Former SM CEO) wife dies of cancer" (in Korean). Seoul: newsdaily.co.kr. 5 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "SM Entertainment's Lee Soo Man's wife passes away | allkpop.com". www.allkpop.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  7. ^ "SM Entertainment Founder Lee Soo Man's Wife Passes Away After 2-Year Battle With Cancer". KpopStarz. 2014-10-05. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 

External links[edit]