Deceased April 28, 2012
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Our classmate Dan Lee passed away on April 28, 2012, in Seoul, Korea, at the advanced age of 90! With the many years he lived, his many accomplishments and goodwill for others was overwhelming.
His educational background, in addition to our Fairest College, includes Hiroshima (Japan) Imperial Normal College, Seoul National University, Princeton and Columbia Universities.
Dan was the primary “architect” of Korea’s five-year economic plan after the Korean War, bringing the country into a place of a leadership of a modern, dynamic economic powerhouse which it is today while increasing the average per capita income immeasurably. He also spent many years in international work, being the first Korean citizen to work at the professional staff at the United Nations, ECAP.
In 1961 there was a coup d’état in South Korea, when he just happened to be in a Washington, D.C., meeting with officials including George Bundy, the national security adviser to President Kennedy (which incidentally was arranged by Amherst’s former president, Charlie Cole). Although offered refuge by the United States, he chose to return to Korea and continued his economics work with the new government. He also worked as an economist at the World Bank and was managing director of the Korea-U.S. Economic Council, managing director of the Korean Trade Association and various Korean business magazines.
Needless to say, he never forgot Amherst, with two of his four children being alumni, Margaret ’78 and Thai-Hi ’80. (They were very helpful in providing me information.) Dan also volunteered in the role of president of the Amherst Alumni Association in Korea.
In addition to the four surviving children, Celeste Lee, Chang-Suk Lee, Margaret Lee ’78 and Thai-Hi Lee ’80, he also leaves his widow, Youngja, and nine grandchildren.
He will be missed.
George Hiller ’50
(Bob Skeele’ 52 contributed to this In Memory piece)