Chung Ju-yung

DEFINITION of 'Chung Ju-yung'

The founder and former president of Korean automaker Hyundai. Chung was born into poverty in North Korea in 1915. He began his career as a construction laborer and a clerk in a rice store before founding Hyundai Motor Industrial Company in 1946 and Hyundai Civil Industries (a heavy construction company) in 1947.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chung Ju-yung'

Chung resigned from Hyundai in 1987 and worked in politics for five years in an attempt to reunify North and South Korea and increase economic growth in both countries. After an unsuccessful presidential campaign, he decided to pursue tourism as a means to achieve the ends he had not achieved through politics. He also established the charitable Asan Foundation, which provides medical and welfare services and academic scholarships. Chung was profiled in Time magazine's 2006 feature, "60 Years of Asian Heroes." He died in 2001.