Last respects for ill-fated eldest son

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Last respects for ill-fated eldest son

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Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin at the funeral home of her uncle and Samsung Group founder’s eldest son Lee Maeng-hee at Seoul National Hospital in central Seoul on Tuesday. [NEWSIS]

Family and friends joined with prominent business leaders of Korea Inc. as well as incumbent and former high-ranking government officials and politicians to show their last respects to the ill-fated prince of Samsung history Lee Maeng-hee.

Many of the family members, including Maeng-hee’s nephew and apparent heir to Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee, showed up at the funeral parlor at Seoul National University Hospital in Hyewha-dong, central Seoul, late Tuesday, a day before CJ Group officially started accepting visitors.

The first to arrive at the funeral home was the eldest of Maeng-hee’s siblings, Lee In-hee. The 87 year-old advisor to Hansol Group, came to her brother’s funeral in a wheelchair around 7 p.m. on Tuesday while the younger sisters, Lee Sook-hee (80) and Lee Soon-hee (77), joined their elder sister. After an hour Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s wife Hong Ra-hee (70), escorted by her oldest daughter and Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin (45), arrived at the funeral home.

The youngest of Maeng-hee’s siblings, Shinsegae Group Chairwoman Lee Myung-hee (72), as well as her son and vice chairman of the retail giant Chung Yong-jin (47) also attended.

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Samsung family members who showed their last respect to Lee Maeng-hee. From left: Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, Leeum Museum director general Hong Ra-hee, Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin. [NEWSIS]

The apparent heir of Samsung Group and Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Jay Y. (47) arrived at the hospital at 9 p.m. without an entourage. Without any words Jay Y. was escorted by cousin and younger son of Maeng-hee, Lee Jae-hwan (53).

He talked to Sohn Kyung-shik, CJ Group Chairman and brother-in-law of late Maeng-hee, briefly and left 17 minutes after.

On Tuesday and Wednesday CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun, who is also the eldest son of the late Maeng-hee, did not attend. He suffers from severe health problems including complications from kidney surgery he got in 2013 as well as a genetic disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth disease.

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who was recently released from prison, was the first to make an appearance on Wednesday morning.

“Chairman Lee Jae-hyun and I were friends from younger years,” said Chey, who arrived after 8.20 a.m.

Other leading businessmen who showed up included Doosan Group Chairman Park Yong-maan, Kumho Asiana Group Park Sam-koo, Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun and Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul. From Samsung Group, Vice Chairman and head of its future strategy office Choi Gee-sung and Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun also came to show their respect.

Prominent figures of the non-business sector who visited included Democratic Party lawmaker Park Byeong-seug and former Financial Services Commission Chairman Kim Seok-dong.


BY LEE HYUN-TAEK, LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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