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Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, South Korea’s Richest, Dies

The Samsung group, the largest business conglomerate in South Korea, announced today the death at 78 years old of its president, Lee Kun-hee, richest man in the country that had entered in a Seoul hospital since 2014 from a heart attack that left him incapacitated.

Samsung said in a statement that Lee “passed away on October 25 accompanied by his family, including vice president (of the group) Jay Y. Lee,” known as Lee Jae-yong and that, as heir to the empire led by his father , has been at the helm of the conglomerate since his father was bedridden more than six years ago.

Lee Kun-hee, third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul, was South Korea’s largest fortune with a net estimated at more than $ 20 billion (about 16,860 million euros), according to Forbes, and was the man who turned the conglomerate into a multinational entity with the technology giant Samsung Electronics at the helm.

Born in 1942 in Uiryeong County, South Gyeongsang Province (southeast of the country), he assumed the presidency of the group in 1987 after the death of his father.

Responsible for the promotion of the company

From 1993 decided to change the course of the business to internationalize it and made Samsung Electronics the world’s largest memory chip producer and in one of the consumer electronics brands most recognized.

It is estimated that Samsung Electronics alone generates close to 20% of gross domestic product (PIB) de South Korea.

After suffering a heart attack in May 2014, he was rushed to the prestigious Samsung Medical Center, in South Seoul, where he remained until his death amid continuous speculation about his health.

Following his passing it is expected that su hijo Lee Jae-yong go on to officially adopt the position of president of the group and Samsung Electronics.

Lee Jae-yong is currently facing two trials for alleged corrupt practices, including his involvement in the so-called South Korean ‘Rasputina’ plot, which led to the 2017 ouster of then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye, sentenced to 32 years. Jail

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