Lee, Bum-young

Lee, Bum-young: He supported Dr.Syngman Rhee for life as a Dong Ji Hoe member.

He is a dedicated life-time financial supporter for Dr. Syngman Rhee. During an interview with Mr. Min, Pyong-yong, publisher of this book, Lee summed up his role this way: “You can’t work without funds. All I did for U.S. Commit- tee in Washington D.C. was to collect funds and forwarded them for Korean independence.” He was a teacher in Seoul before he landed in San Francisco in 1913. He moved onto Dinuba work- ing as a grape picker and joined Korean National Association. March First Independence Movement was a game changer for him. He thought that he would work to regain the sovereignty rather than to work only for himself. He also served the president of Korean National Association in Dinuba. Initially, he stayed with Korean National Association, yet later he followed Dong ji Hoe line. Syngman Rhee called him back to Korea and traveled as Rhee’s special ambassador to South- east Asia. While he was in Korea, Mary Lee, his wife, shipped a Buick, Lee drove it through the streets in Seoul making headlines there. He passed away on December 3, 1982 in Los Angeles and buried at Green Hill Memorial Park. In 2011, The South Korean government posthumously recognized him with the National Foundation Commendation for his contribution to Korea’s independence.


▲ Lee, Bum-young second from the right in the City of
Los Angeles for Korean national flag day: August 15, 1960

Wedding picture: Lee, Bum-young an Mary Lee in Honolulu: 1948