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Lee Kun-hee Samsung Group titan dies aged 78

Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, passed away at the age of 78 on Sunday.

According to the company’s statement, he died after spending more than six years in hospital following a heart attack.

Mr. Lee died on Sunday with family by his side, said Samsung, but did not state the exact cause of death.

“All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him,” the firm said in a statement.

He was the richest person in South Korea with a net worth of nearly $21bn, according to Forbes.

Mr. Lee was the third son of Lee Byung-Chul, who founded Samsung Group in 1938. He supported to grow his father’s small trading business into an economic powerhouse, diversifying into areas like insurance and shipping.

He took over Samsung as chairman in 1987 after his father’s death. And with his efforts, Samsung Electronics also became one of the world’s biggest tech firms in his lifetime.

Lee Kun-hee stepped down as Samsung chairman in 2008 after he was charged with tax evasion and embezzlement, and  was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence for tax evasion.

But he recieved a presidential pardon in 2009 and maintained on to lead South Korea’s most successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

He again took company’s command as chairman of Samsung Group in 2010, but was left bedridden by the 2014 heart attack.

Saman Siddiqui
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Saman Siddiqui

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