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Lee Yoon-hyung
Image of Lee Yoon-hyung
Born 이윤형
(1979-04-26)April 26, 1979
South Korea
Died November 18, 2005(2005-11-18) (aged 26)
Astor Place, East Village, Manhattan, New York City, United States
Cause of death Suicide
Nationality South Korean
Alma mater Ewha Womans University
NYU Steinhardt
Occupation Graduate student
Parent(s) Lee Kun-hee
Hong Ra-hee
Relatives Lee Jae-yong
Lee Boo-jin
Lee Seo-hyun
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Yun-hyeong
McCune–Reischauer Yi Yun-hyŏng

Lee Yoon-hyung (Hangul이윤형 I Yun-hyeong; Korean pronunciation: [ijunhjʌŋ]; April 26, 1979 – November 18, 2005) was a South Korean millionaire and daughter of Samsung Group chief Lee Kun-hee. She committed suicide by hanging herself in her Astor Place apartment in the East Village, Manhattan on November 18, 2005.[1]


On April 26, 1979, Lee was born in South Korea. Her father was Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, and her mother was Hong Ra-hee. She was the youngest of the four children; she had an elder brother Lee Jae-yong and two elder sisters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun.

Lee graduated from Ewha Womans University in Seoul with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French language and French literature.[2] She was a first-year graduate student in arts management at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.[1]

In 2003, it was revealed that she owned $191 million of Samsung stock.[1]

In her spare time, she was very keen on car racing and many extreme sports. She also launched a personal blog to show her daily life to the public and it was very popular in South Korea.[3]


Her cause of death was originally reported in both American and South Korean media as a car crash due to the social stigma against suicide, but the actual details were subsequently published after inquiries by reporters from The Korea Times.[1] At the time of her death, Ms. Lee was a graduate student at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and her father was in the United States undergoing treatment for lung cancer.[4] A doorman at her building told reporters that she sometimes stayed in her apartment for a week at a time,[4] and there were reports that her father had forbidden her to marry her middle-class Korean boyfriend.[4] At the time of her death, Ms. Lee had a personal fortune of more than £100m ($157 million).[4]

She was survived by her parents who did not attend her funeral, due to Korean funeral tradition. Her older brother, Lee Jae-yong, and two older sisters, Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun also survived her.[4]

See also[edit]



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