Date of Birth:
9th January 1942
Country of Birth:
Country of Residence:
Source of Wealth:
Married to Hong Ra-hee
Lee Kun-hee Net Worth USD: $16,245,000,000 - $17,955,000,000
2020 Mean Estimate USD:
Lee Kun-hee Biography
Lee Kun-hee was born in 1942, in modern day South Korea, during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula. His father was Lee Byung-chul, the man who founded Samsung. The company that was to grow into the largest conglomerate in Korea began life as a trading company in 1938. Lee Kun-hee joined his father’s firm in 1968 and then near the end of 1987 when his father died, he took over as chairman.
At the time Samsung concentrated on mass producing low quality, cheap products. In 1993 Lee set out to change that, ripping up the company’s ethos and changing the traditional Korean mindset that pervaded all aspects of the business. To help in this, he started recruiting foreign employees. His changes worked, and Samsung became not just one of the largest brands in Asia, but around the world, and one that traded on its high-quality products.
In 2008 Lee Kun-hee was arrested on charges involving tax evasion. He was subsequently pardoned, but that was cast under a shadow by bribery allegations. Lee had a heart attack in 2014, and has been in hospital ever since. Rumors have circulated about his death, but no firm news has ever come to light.