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Memorial ceremony for Hoam is a subdued affair

Nov 18,2017
The 30th memorial ceremony for Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull, also known as Hoam, took place at the family burial ground near Ho-Am Art Museum in Yongin, Gyeonggi, on Friday, in the absence of his son and Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

Lee Kun-hee’s wife Hong Ra-hee, oldest daughter Lee Boo-jin, the CEO of Hotel Shilla, and second daughter Lee Seo-hyun, head of Samsung C&T’s fashion division, visited the site and held their own ceremony. Top executives from Samsung subsidiaries including Samsung Electronics Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun and Vice Chairman Shin Jong-kyun visited later in the day.

Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who fell ill after a heart attack in May 2014, has not been able to attend the annual memorial service ever since, and his heir Lee Jae-yong could not show up this year as he is currently in prison after being sentenced to five years for corruption.

Due to their absence, Samsung did not mention the ceremony this time through its internal broadcast, a break from their normal coverage.

In a separate ancestral rite for family members scheduled for Sunday at CJ HumanVille in Pil-dong, central Seoul, CJ Chairman Lee Jay-hyun will take the role as chief mourner as he is the late founder’s eldest son Lee Myeang-hee’s eldest son. Lee Byung-chull passed away on Nov. 19, 1987, but the memorial service was advanced by two days because it falls on a Sunday.

Born on Feb. 12, 1910, in Uiryeong County, South Gyeongsang, Lee Byung-chull opened up the Samsung General Store in Daegu and took over Chosun Alcohol in 1938. He established the Samsung Trading Company - today’s Samsung C&T - in Jongno District, central Seoul in 1948. The company began trading with several markets including Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore and served as the basis for what Samsung has become now. He launched Samsung Electronics in 1969.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]