Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee Dies At 78
(RTTNews) - Lee Kun-hee, the Chairman of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, has died on October 25, at the age of 78. It was he who transformed Samsung into a South Korean behemoth, and the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones, televisions, and semiconductors.
As per reports, Lee's only son Jae-yong, who currently serves as vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is likely to take over the Samsung Group.
The exact cause of Lee's death is not known, but he had been bedridden since 2014 following a heart attack.
Samsung said in a statement, "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."
Lee, with an estimated net worth of $21 billion at the time of his death, was the third son of Lee Byung-chul, who founded Samsung Group in 1938. He joined the company in 1968 and took over the main role in 1987 following his father's death. The South Korean businessman served as Samsung's chairman from 1987 to 2008, and again from 2010 to 2020.
He had to step down in 2008 after being convicted for corruption and tax evasion charges, including bribing former President Roh Tae-woo, but was given presidential pardon. In 1996 as well, Lee was convicted for corruption and tax evasion charges. In 2010, he returned as chairman of Samsung Group.
Lee holds a 4.18 percent stake in Samsung Electronics and a 20.76 percent in Samsung Life. Since 2007, he was the richest person in South Korea, according to Forbes. He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee.