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# 455 Hong Ra-hee $5.59B

Random fact: Received the biggest share of estate of former Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee.


Hong is the widow of Lee Kun-hee, the former chairman of Samsung Group who died in October 2020. She became the largest individual shareholder of the conglomerate's flagship company, Samsung Electronics, following a split of the family's assets. Samsung Electronics had revenue of 279.6 trillion won ($244 billion) in 2021.

As of :
Last change -$65.5M ( -1.2%)
YTD change +$556M ( +11.0%)
Biggest asset 005930 KS Equity
Country / Region Korea, Republic of
Age 77
Industry Diversified
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Hong Ra-hee's net worth of $5.59B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Hong's fortune is derived from her stake in Samsung Electronics, a manufacturer of consumer and industrial electronic equipment. She owns 2% of the shares, according to an October 2022 filing. Almost 40% of her shares are pledged and excluded from the net worth calculation.

She also holds interests in other group affiliates, including a 1% stake in the de-facto holding company, Samsung C&T, and less than 1% of Samsung SDS, according to filings.

This analysis previously assigned all shares formerly held by Lee Kun-hee, Hong's husband who died in October 2020, to his son Jae-Yong Lee. The fortune was split between heirs on May 5, 2021. Hong received 33% of the shareholdings, while her children each received about 22%, according to the legally prescribed ratio.

The family has also pledged to donate 1 trillion won ($899 million) for social causes.

Cash and other assets are based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

A Samsung Electronics spokeswoman declined to comment on the family's net worth.


Family: Widowed, 3 children

Hing Ra-Hee is the widow of Lee Kun-hee, the former chairman of Samsung Group who died in October 2020.

Lee's father, Lee Byung Chull, founded Samsung with 40 employees in 1938, exporting rice, dried fish, noodles and produce to Manchuria and China from Korea during the Japanese occupation. Lee was born on Jan. 9, 1942, to a family with two brothers and five sisters. His father's businesses flourished and diversified into insurance, sugar, paper, textiles and property development following the Korean War. He expanded into electronics and appliances by the late 1960s, making products such as black-and-white TVs, electric fans and rice cookers. During that period, Lee studied abroad, first at Waseda University in Tokyo, obtaining a bachelor's in economics.

Throughout the 1970s, the government encouraged family-controlled conglomerates -- called chaebols in Korean -- through government financing by South Korea's President Park Chung Hee with the aim of developing heavy industry, chemicals, shipbuilding and construction. Samsung and Hyundai were among the chaebols. Lee's father was stricken with cancer in 1976, and in an unusual move, he selected his third son Lee Kun Hee as his successor. Traditionally in Korea, the eldest son would inherit the family business under long-followed Confucian practices. His father died in 1987, and Lee became chairman of Samsung.

Lee hired a Japanese adviser, Shigeo Fukuda, to examine the management of Samsung. The adviser came back with a scathing report of a rigid and outdated bureaucracy that had no concept of design. Lee then held a corporate retreat for 100 top executives on June 7, 1993, at a hunting lodge in Germany where he declared that Samsung was a second-rate company. He forced the managers to watch a 30-minute documentary on the shoddy production practices at a Samsung washing machine factory. He ended the retreat by telling them to "change everything except for your wife and kids." A year later, he ordered his executives to recall phones that were faulty. They collected 150,000 units and Lee invited workers to a bonfire, where they were destroyed.

  • 1938 Lee Byung-chull opens grocery store that becomes Samsung Group.
  • 1969 Samsung Electronics started in a Quonset hut to make TVs.
  • 1992 Samsung Electronics becomes world's top maker of computer memory chips.
  • 2020 Lee Kun-hee dies aged 78.