Hong Ra-hee: A Life of Perseverance

Hong Ra hee 1


Hong Ra-hee is a South Korean billionaire and art collector known for her contributions to the modernization of the country’s art scene. She is the wife of Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group until his death in 2020. Forbes estimates her net worth as of 2021 to be $7.6 billion.

Early Life and Education

Hong Ra-hee was born on October 1941 in Daegu, South Korea. She grew up in a modest family and her father was a stockbroker who introduced her to the world of finance. She graduated from Seoul National University with a degree in Business Administration.

Career and Achievements

Hong Ra-hee started her career as a stockbroker at Daehan Securities. After marrying Lee Kun-hee and joining Samsung Group in 1990, she focused on the art collection of the company. Under her guidance, Samsung established the Samsung Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in South Korea, and acquired numerous pieces of modern and contemporary art.

Hong Ra-hee also played a crucial role in expanding Samsung’s philanthropic activities. In 2002, she founded the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art with the aim to promote the understanding and appreciation of Korean art to the world. She has also made significant contributions to the University of California, San Francisco’s Childcare Center, becoming the first Korean citizen to donate to the institution.

Personal Life

Hong Ra-hee married Lee Kun-hee in 1971, and they have one son and two daughters. Her husband was instrumental in transforming Samsung Group into a global conglomerate, and she supported him in his endeavors. Following Lee’s death in 2020, Hong Ra-hee inherited a significant portion of Samsung’s shares and became one of the richest women in South Korea.


Name Hong Ra-hee
Born October 1941
Country South Korea
Sector Technology, Art
Companies Samsung Group, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Net Worth $7.6 billion
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