Lee, Won-soon

Lee, Won-soon: He became successful as he supported Syngman Rhee in Korean independence movement.


He went into  exile when he was younger and worked for Park,Yong-man until Park was assassinated in China and then he joined Dong Ji Hoe for Syngman Rhee for the next 15 years with continuing financial support for Rhee. He was the first millionaire with his real estate business. He immigrated to Hawaii in 1914 at the age of He bought a car and made home deliveries for Korean immigrants with a smashing success. He married in 1922. He was engaged in the furniture business and real estate transactions.  He accepted Syngman Rhee’s invitation to join Dong Ji Hoe and became the president of the same organization. He wholeheartedly sup- ported Rhee’s idea of Korean independence by diplomacy and when Rhee was going to Geneva to protest Japanese atrocities, he collected $3,000 and handed the donation to Rhee. Rhee met Francesca and married her. Even he was not successful in securing the official recognition of the Provisional Government status from President Wilson, he at tached 100 commandos to OSS and had U.S. Postal Service issue a commemorative stamp with the Korean flag. When he had a dispute on the issue of representative at the Pan-Pacific Peace Conference, he broke up with Syngman Rhee for good. He returned to Korea in 1953 permanently. In 1988, he published a book: “A Man, Syngman Rhee.” In 1991, the South Korean government recognized him with the Order of Merit of National  Foundation /  Patriotism Award  for his dedication to the   Korean independence movement.