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Lee Kun-hee Lee Kun-hee 1942 - 2020 Chairman of Samsung Group
Lee Jung-seob Lee Jung-seob 1916 - 1956 Oil painter
Kim Young-sam Kim Young-sam 1927 - 2015 President of South Korea
Sang Lee Sang Lee 1954 - 2004 Three-cushion billiards player and world champion
Chun Doo-hwan Chun Doo-hwan 1931 - 2021 Military general and politician
Lee Jong-wook Lee Jong-wook 1945 - 2006 Director-General of the World Health Organization
Lee Jihan Lee Jihan 1998 - 2022 Actor and singer
Gojong of Korea Gojong of Korea 1852 - 1919 Emperor of Korea and reformer
Go Soo Jung Go Soo Jung 1995 - 2020 Actress and model
Cha In Ha Cha In Ha 1992 - 2019 Actor and singer
Shin Kyuk-ho Shin Kyuk-ho 1921 - 2020 Founder of Lotte Corporation
Chung Mong-hun Chung Mong-hun 1948 - 2003 Chairman of Hyundai Asan
Philip Jaisohn Philip Jaisohn 1864 - 1951 Korean independence activist and journalist
Gojong of Korea Gojong of Korea 1852 - 1919 The last king of Joseon and the first emperor
Park Chung-hee Park Chung-hee 1917 - 1979 President of South Korea
Park Won-soon Park Won-soon 1956 - 2020 Mayor of Seoul
Kwon Rise Kwon Rise 1991 - 2014 Member of Ladies' Code
Yo-Sam Choi Yo-Sam Choi 1973 - 2008 world boxing champion
Kim Ja-ok Kim Ja-ok 1951 - 2014 actress
Heungseon Daewongun Heungseon Daewongun 1821 - 1898 Regent of Joseon and father of Emperor Gojong
Isang Yun Isang Yun 1917 - 1995 Composer of avant-garde music
Choi Kyu-hah Choi Kyu-hah 1919 - 2006 President of South Korea
Kim Si-seup Kim Si-seup 1435 - 1493 scholar and author
Kim In-hyeok Kim In-hyeok 1995 - 2022 Professional volleyball player
Kim Bo-kyung Kim Bo-kyung 1976 - 2021 Actress
Uisang Uisang 625 - 702 Founder of the Hwaeom school of Buddhism
Yun Bo-seon Yun Bo-seon 1897 - 1990 President of South Korea
Choi Jin-sil Choi Jin-sil 1968 - 2008 Actress
Jang Seung-eop Jang Seung-eop 1843 - 1897 Painter of the late Joseon Dynasty
Empress Myeongseong Empress Myeongseong 1851 - 1895 Empress consort of Gojong and political leader
Kim Dae-jung Kim Dae-jung 1924 - 2009 Politician and activist
Kim Hong-do Kim Hong-do 1745 - 1806 Genre painter of the Joseon dynasty
Kintaro Ohki Kintaro Ohki 1929 - 2006 Professional wrestler and Ssireum player
Kim Mi-soo Kim Mi-soo 1992 - 2022 Actress and model
Heo Gyun Heo Gyun 1569 - 1618 Novelist, poet, and reformist
Go Hui-dong Go Hui-dong 1886 - 1965 First Korean painter to adopt Western styles
Heo Nanseolheon Heo Nanseolheon 1563 - 1589 poet and painter of the Joseon dynasty
Yun Chi-ho Yun Chi-ho 1864 - 1945 Reformist and nationalist leader
Roh Moo-hyun Roh Moo-hyun 1946 - 2009 President of South Korea and human rights activist
Pak Kyongni Pak Kyongni 1926 - 2008 Novelist
Lee Eon Lee Eon 1981 - 2008 Actor and model
Jeong Da-bin Jeong Da-bin 1980 - 2007 Actress
Wonhyo Wonhyo 617 - 686 Buddhist scholar and commentator
Kim Seong-su Kim Seong-su 1891 - 1955 Vice president of South Korea
Empress Gi Empress Gi 1315 - 1369 Empress consort of the Yuan dynasty
Jeong Dojeon Jeong Dojeon 1342 - 1398 Chief State Councillor of Joseon
Yongjo Yongjo 1694 - 1776 King of Joseon
Kim Ki-young Kim Ki-young 1919 - 1998 Film director, screenwriter, producer, editor
Cho Jang Mi Cho Jang Mi 1994 - 2022 Twitch streamer and volleyball player
Kim Jong-hyun Kim Jong-hyun 1990 - 2017 Lead vocalist of SHINee and solo artist
Sejong the Great Sejong the Great 1397 - 1450 King of Joseon, inventor of Hangul
Heo Jun Heo Jun 1539 - 1615 Royal physician of Joseon dynasty
Stephen Kim Sou-hwan Stephen Kim Sou-hwan 1922 - 2009 Cardinal and Archbishop of Seoul
Moon Bin Moon Bin 1998 - 2023 K-pop idol
Sejong the Great Sejong the Great 1397 - 1450 King of Joseon and inventor of Hangul
Chung Ju-yung Chung Ju-yung 1915 - 2001 Founder of Hyundai Group
Chu Ki-chol Chu Ki-chol 1897 - 1944 Presbyterian minister
Yeongjo of Joseon Yeongjo of Joseon 1694 - 1776 King of Joseon
Han Yongun Han Yongun 1879 - 1944 Buddhist reformer
Deokhye Deokhye 1912 - 1989 Last princess of the Korean Empire
Goo Hara Goo Hara 1991 - 2019 K-pop idol
Ku Sang Ku Sang 1919 - 2004 Poet
Yi Saek Yi Saek 1328 - 1396 Neo-Confucian scholar and literary figure
Jeong Seung-hwa Jeong Seung-hwa 1929 - 2002 22nd Republic of Korea Army Chief of Staff
Chang Myon Chang Myon 1899 - 1966 Prime minister of South Korea
Choe Deok-sin Choe Deok-sin 1914 - 1989 Foreign minister of South Korea
Jang Ja-yeon Jang Ja-yeon 1980 - 2009 Actress in Boys Over Flowers
Ahn Sahng-hong Ahn Sahng-hong 1918 - 1985 Founder of the Church of God Jesus Witnesses
Yun Posun Yun Posun 1897 - 1990 President of South Korea
Ch'oe Che-u Ch'oe Che-u 1824 - 1864 Founder of the Tonghak sect
Go Yoo-min Go Yoo-min 1995 - 2020 Professional volleyball player
Ahn Jae-hwan Ahn Jae-hwan 1972 - 2008 Actor and singer
Roh Tae-woo Roh Tae-woo 1932 - 2021 Politician and army general
Kim Gu Kim Gu 1876 - 1949 Leader of the Korean independence movement
Ch'oe Che-u Ch'oe Che-u 1824 - 1864 Founder of the Tonghak sect
Jeong Seon Jeong Seon 1676 - 1759 Landscape painter
Kim Woo-jung Kim Woo-jung 1936 - 2019 Founder and chairman of Daewoo Group
Lee Eun-ju Lee Eun-ju 1980 - 2005 Actress
Chey Jong-Hyon Chey Jong-Hyon 1929 - 1998 Chairman of SK Group
Kim Kyu-sik Kim Kyu-sik 1881 - 1950 Vice President of the Provisional Government
Chajang Yulsa Chajang Yulsa 636 - 713 Buddhist monk and scholar
Sulli Sulli 1994 - 2019 Singer and actress
Mas Oyama Mas Oyama 1923 - 1994 Karate master and founder of Kyokushin Karate
Yi Sun-sin Yi Sun-sin 1545 - 1598 Naval commander
Charles William Joseph Emile Le Gendre Charles William Joseph Emile Le Gendre 1830 - 1899 Army officer and diplomat
Andre Kim Andre Kim 1935 - 2010 Fashion designer
Crown Prince Sado Crown Prince Sado 1735 - 1762 Regent of Joseon
Yuh Woon-Hyung Yuh Woon-Hyung 1886 - 1947 Provisional government member
Son Byong-hi Son Byong-hi 1861 - 1922 Third leader of Donghak (Eastern learning)
Gim Hongdo Gim Hongdo 1745 - 1806 Painter of the Joseon dynasty
Andrew Kim Taegon Andrew Kim Taegon 1821 - 1846 First Korean-born Catholic priest
Jeongye Daewongun Jeongye Daewongun 1785 - 1841 Father of King Cheoljong of Joseon
Jung Jae-sung Jung Jae-sung 1982 - 2018 Badminton player
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Top 10 Died Influential People

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  • 1. Kim Jong-hyun

    Died: 2017 A.D
    Slogan: Even though we can't communicate using the same language, we use music instead.

    Kim Jong-hyun was born on April 8, 1990, in Seoul, South Korea. He developed an interest in music from a young age and joined a school band in middle school. He was scouted by SM Entertainment in 2005, after performing in a song festival with his band. He debuted as the main vocalist of the boy group SHINee in 2008, and quickly rose to fame as one of the most popular and talented singers in the K-pop industry. He also participated in SM Entertainment's project group, SM the Ballad, and collaborated with various artists. He started his solo career in 2015, with the release of his first EP, Base, which topped the Billboard World Albums Chart and the Gaon Album Chart. He followed it up with a compilation album, Story Op.1, in the same year. His first studio album, She Is, was released in 2016, and his second compilation album, Story Op.2, was released in 2017. He also held several solo concert tours, showcasing his versatility and creativity as an artist. He was praised for his artistic control and involvement in the creation of his music, as well as his vocal skills and emotional expression. He was also a radio host, an author, and an advocate for mental health and social issues. He wrote a book titled Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set Free, which contained his personal stories and song lyrics. He also supported various causes, such as the Sewol Ferry disaster victims, the Comfort Women, and the LGBT community. He was known for his kind and gentle personality, and his close relationships with his family, friends, and fans. He died on December 18, 2017, at the age of 27, after committing suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. He left a note that revealed his struggle with depression and loneliness. His death shocked and saddened the whole world, and sparked a conversation about the importance of mental health awareness and support. His final album, Poet | Artist, was released posthumously on January 23, 2018, and all the profits were donated to his mother and a charity foundation. His music and legacy continue to inspire and touch many people's lives.

  • 2. Gojong of Korea

    Died: 1919 A.D
    Slogan: The independence and prosperity of our nation depend on education.

    Gojong was the penultimate Korean monarch who ruled Korea for 43 years, from 1864 to 1907. He ascended to the throne at the age of 12, under the regency of his father Heungseon Daewongun and his mother Queen Sinjeong. He married Min Jayoung, later known as Empress Myeongseong, who became a powerful influence in the royal court. Gojong faced the challenges of foreign encroachments by Japan, China, France, and the United States, and tried to modernize and reform Korea. He declared himself the emperor of the Korean Empire in 1897, after the First Sino-Japanese War and the assassination of his wife by the Japanese. He sought protection from the Western powers, especially Russia, but was forced to abdicate in 1907 by the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1907. He died in 1919, allegedly poisoned by the Japanese. He is also known as the Gwangmu Emperor, and was posthumously honored with various titles and names.

  • 3. Kim Ja-ok

    Died: 2014 A.D
    Slogan: I want to be an actress who can make people laugh and cry.

    Kim Ja-ok was a South Korean actress who started her career in 1970 after being admitted to a public recruit by MBC TV. She starred in various films and TV series, gaining popularity for her cheerful and lively portrayals of women of the new generation. Some of her notable works include Sinbu ilgi, Miss O's Apartment, Water Lady, Ojakgyo Family, and High Kick Through the Roof. She also showed her musical skills with her album The Princess is Lonely in 1996. She received several awards for her acting, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from all major stations (SBS, MBC, KBS). She was married twice and had two sons. She passed away in 2014 from lung cancer at the age of 63. She was widely loved and respected by her fans and colleagues for her warm personality and professionalism.

  • 4. Chey Jong-Hyon

    Died: 1998 A.D
    Slogan: All businesses start and end with people.

    Chey Jong-Hyon was a Korean businessman, educator, and philanthropist who transformed SK Group into a global leader in energy, chemical, and telecommunications. He was born in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province in 1929 as the second eldest son in a family of eight children. His father was a teacher and his mother was a devout Buddhist. He graduated from Suwon Agricultural Life High School in 1950 and enrolled at Seoul National University, majoring in agricultural engineering. However, the outbreak of the Korean War forced him to suspend his studies and flee to the United States. He transferred to the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in chemistry and graduated in 1956. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's degree in economics in 1959. He returned to Korea in 1962 and joined Sunkyong Textile, a company founded by his older brother, Choi Jong-Kun. He became the vice president of the company and helped develop various hit products, such as crepon, angora wool, and field jacket liner. He also established Sunkyong Synthetic Fiber Co., Ltd. and built a polyester plant in 1969. He was appointed as the chairman of Sunkyong Textile in 1973, following the death of his brother. He changed the name of the company to SK Group in 1997 and expanded its business to encompass the energy, telecommunications, and semiconductor sectors. He acquired Korea Oil Corporation, the largest energy company in Korea, in 1980 and Korea Mobile Telecommunication, the first mobile phone service provider in Korea, in 1994. He also invested in Hynix Semiconductor, one of the world's leading memory chip makers, in 1998. He was a visionary leader who foresaw the future trends and opportunities in the global market. He was also a social contributor who supported various causes, such as education, culture, and sports. He founded the SK Heritage Museum in 1996 to preserve and promote the Korean cultural heritage. He also established the CHEY Institute for Advanced Studies in 1998 to foster academic research and exchange in the fields of scientific innovation and geopolitical risk. He was awarded the Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit in 1973 and the Grand Order of Mugunghwa in 1998 for his outstanding contributions to the national economy and society. He was also elected as the president of the Federation of Korean Industries in 1993 and served as the chairman of the Private Committee for National Competitiveness. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997 and passed away on November 25, 1998 at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife, Kim Young-Ja, and four children, Chey Tae-Won, Chey Shin-Won, Chey Mi-Won, and Chey Bo-Won. He was buried at Bundang Memorial Park in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and respected businessmen in Korean history.

  • 5. Jeong Da-bin

    Died: 2007 A.D
    Slogan: I want to be an actress who can make people happy

    Jeong Da-bin was a South Korean actress who rose to fame in the early 2000s with her roles in popular television series such as Cats on the Roof and Attic Cat. She was known for her cheerful and positive image, and was dubbed as the "Ice Cream Girl" for her commercial for Baskin-Robbins. She also starred in several films, such as He Was Cool and The Legend of Gingko. However, her career declined in the mid-2000s due to a lack of work, the imprisonment of her previous manager, and malicious attacks on the Internet about her physical appearance. She suffered from depression and attempted suicide by slitting her wrist in 2006. On February 10, 2007, she was found hanged with a bath towel in the bathroom of her boyfriend's house in Seoul. She was 26 years old. Her death shocked the public and the entertainment industry, and raised awareness about the mental health issues of celebrities. She was cremated and her remains were placed at Cheonga Park in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. She is survived by her father, mother, and one younger brother.

  • 6. Kim Young-sam

    Died: 2015 A.D
    Slogan: New Korea, New Politics

    Kim Young-sam was a South Korean politician and activist who served as the seventh president of South Korea from 1993 to 1998. He was a prominent leader of the pro-democracy movement that opposed the military regimes of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan. He was also the first civilian president in 32 years, ending the military's dominance in politics. He initiated various reforms to curb corruption, promote transparency, and strengthen civil rights. He also faced the 1997 Asian financial crisis and accepted a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. He was known for his art name Geosan, meaning "great mountain". He died in 2015 from heart failure at the age of 87.

  • 7. Lee Eun-ju

    Died: 2005 A.D
    Slogan: To become an actress takes more time.

    Lee Eun-ju was a South Korean actress who starred in hit films such as Taegukgi and The Scarlet Letter. She was born in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea, on December 22, 1980. She studied piano for much of her youth, without giving much thought to becoming an actress. She moved to Seoul after graduating high school and was first noticed in the mid-1990s as a model for school uniforms. After finding work as a model, she began to be offered roles in various TV dramas, including Start and KAIST. Her film debut came in 1999, when she played the younger sister in Park Chong-wan's award-winning feature Rainbow Trout. Her first lead role came as the title character in Hong Sang-soo's Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors in 2000. Following this, she teamed with actor Lee Byung-hun in the 2001 hit film Bungee Jumping of Their Own, and also scored a hit opposite Cha Tae-hyun in the melodrama Lovers' Concerto. Lee's later career was marked by several turns in films that failed at the box-office, plus a key role in the record-breaking Korean War film Taegukgi in 2004. In the same year, she appeared in the very popular Korean drama Phoenix, and later that year she starred in her last feature, Daniel H. Byun's The Scarlet Letter, which screened as the Closing Film at the 2004 Pusan International Film Festival. Lee was known for her delicate and excellent emotional expression, as well as her unique atmosphere compared to actors of the same age. She once said in an interview, "I'm called a new generation star, but I don't want to be the kind of person who achieves instant fame and then is quickly forgotten. I want to learn step-by-step how to become a good actress, and gradually work my way up. A star achieves brilliance, but is soon forgotten; to become an actress takes more time." On the night of February 22, 2005, only a few days after her graduation from Dankook University, Lee died by suicide at her apartment in Bundang, Seongnam, after slitting her wrists and hanging herself. She was 24 years old. The family blamed the suicide on severe bouts of depression and mental illness and said she had been suffering from insomnia due to the nude scenes she had done in The Scarlet Letter, but it could also be traced from Bungee Jumping of Their Own, where all her characters since then have died, so she was too invested in her characters. She left a suicide note scrawled in blood, in which she wrote, "Mom, I am sorry and I love you." A separate note said, "I wanted to do too much. Even though I live, I'm not really alive. I don't want anyone to be disappointed. It's nice having money. I'll be a cow in my next life and live comfortably." Lee was cremated and enshrined in a crypt at Goyang. Hundreds of her fellow actors and entertainers attended her funeral. Her death shocked and saddened many fans and colleagues, and sparked a public debate on the pressures and difficulties faced by celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry. Lee is still remembered by her fans every February, and her films and dramas are often re-aired as a tribute to her legacy.

  • 8. Ch'oe Che-u

    Died: 1864 A.D
    Slogan: All people are equal before Heaven

    Ch'oe Che-u, also known as Su-un, was a Korean religious leader and reformer who founded the Tonghak sect, a syncretic religion that combined elements of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. He was born into an aristocratic family, but his mother died when he was six and his father when he was sixteen. He received a good education in Neo-Confucianism and perhaps other traditions such as Daoism. He married in his teens, but his wife died soon after. He then devoted himself to studying various religious texts and meditating. He claimed to have received a revelation from God in 1860, which led him to create his own doctrine and write the Ch'ŏnju Kyŏng (Heavenly Scripture). He preached that all people are equal before God and that they should strive to achieve harmony and enlightenment. He also criticized the corruption and incompetence of the Joseon government and the influence of Western culture and Catholicism. He gained many followers, especially among the poor and oppressed peasants, who saw him as a savior and a prophet. However, he also aroused the suspicion and hostility of the authorities, who accused him of spreading heresy and subversion. He was arrested in 1863 and executed in 1864. His death did not end his movement, but rather sparked a series of uprisings and rebellions that challenged the status quo and resisted foreign intervention. The Tonghak sect, later renamed as Cheondoism, still exists today as one of the major religions in Korea.

  • 9. Jeong Dojeon

    Died: 1398 A.D
    Slogan: The king is the lord of the people, and the people are the foundation of the country

    Jeong Dojeon was a prominent Korean scholar-official during the late Goryeo to the early Joseon periods. He served as the first Chief State Councillor of Joseon, from 1392 until 1398 when he was killed by the Joseon king Yi Bang-won. Jeong Dojeon was an adviser to the Joseon founder Yi Seong-gye and also the principal architect of the Joseon dynasty's policies, laying down the kingdom's ideological, institutional, and legal frameworks which would govern it for five centuries. He decided all policies from military affairs, diplomacy, and down to education, he laid down Joseon's political system and tax laws, replaced Buddhism with Confucianism as national religion, moved the capital from Kaesong to Hanyang (present-day Seoul), changed the kingdom's political system from feudalism to highly centralized bureaucracy, and wrote a code of laws that eventually became Joseon's constitution. He even decided the names of each palace, eight provinces, and districts in the capital. He also worked to free many slaves and reformed land policy. Jeong Dojeon was born from a noble family, the Bonghwa Jeong clan, in Yeongju in what is now South Korea. His family had emerged from commoner status some four generations before, and slowly climbed up the ladder of government service. His father was the first in the family to obtain a high post. His mother, however, was a slave, which made it difficult for him to gain political status. Jeong’s father died while he was still a young boy, and in spite of his high position, he left a poor household and almost no property for his heir. This experience of poverty during his childhood seems to have affected Jeong's thought. Despite his difficulties, he became a student of Yi Je-hyeon and along with other leading thinkers of the time, such as Jeong Mong-ju, his penetrating intelligence started to affect the Korean politics. Jeong Dojeon's ties with Yi Seong-gye and the foundation of Joseon were extremely close. He is said to have compared his relationship to Yi Seong-gye, to that between Zhang Liang and Emperor Gaozu of Han. He was a strong supporter and a close adviser to Taejo, who founded the Joseon dynasty. He also had a deep influence on Neo-Confucianism in Korea, and wrote a number of essays criticizing Buddhism. He argued that Buddhist practices were antisocial and avoided dealing with the actual world, and that the Buddhist doctrine was nihilistic, and that Buddhism led people to abandon respect for the norms of society and to neglect the importance of cultivating one's character through relationships within human society. Jeong died just six years after the foundation of Joseon, killed in 1398 by his political archenemy Yi Bang-won, Taejo's fifth son. Yi killed his two half-brothers (including the crown prince) as well as Jeong and his supporters in a coup that came to be known as the "First Strife of Princes", eventually becoming King Taejong, the third king of Joseon. Jeong was buried in Danyang, his hometown, and was posthumously honored with the title Munheon, meaning "civil and virtuous".

  • 10. Lee Eon

    Died: 2008 A.D
    Slogan: I want to be an actor who can make people happy.

    Lee Eon was a South Korean actor and model who rose to fame for his roles in the television series Coffee Prince and Strongest Chil Woo. He began his career as a ssireum wrestler, winning gold medals at national competitions in 1997 and 1998. He then pursued modeling after being inspired by Cha Seung-won, and made his debut at a fashion show in Busan in 1999. He later appeared in various fashion shows and magazines, and also hosted a cable TV program called I Am a Model Man. He made his film debut in 2006, playing a ssireum wrestler in Like a Virgin. He gained popularity for his portrayal of Hwang Min-yeop, a naive and loyal cousin of the female lead, in the 2007 hit drama Coffee Prince. He also starred in the dramas When Spring Comes, Who Are You?, and Strongest Chil Woo, showing his versatility and charisma. He was considered one of the rising stars of the Korean entertainment industry, with many fans and endorsements. He died in a motorcycle accident on August 21, 2008, at the age of 27. He had been riding home from a party celebrating the end of Strongest Chil Woo, when his motorcycle hit the guardrail of an overpass in Hannam-dong, Seoul. He died at the scene from a broken neck and was taken to the nearby Soonchunhyang University Hospital. Many of his colleagues and friends attended his funeral, including Gong Yoo, his co-star in Coffee Prince, who took leave from his military service to hold Lee’s memorial tablet in the procession to the grave site. Lee Eon was remembered as a cheerful, kind, and hardworking person who always cared for others. He left behind a legacy of memorable performances and a loyal fan base.

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