Lee Byung-chull (February 12, 1910 in Uiryeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, – November 19, 1987 in Seoul) was the founder of the Samsung Group and one of South Korea's most successful businessmen. With the breakup of the Hyundai chaebol, Samsung is now South Korea's largest business group
He was the son of a wealthy landowning family (a branch of the Gyeongju Lee clan). He attended college at Waseda University in Tokyo, but he did not complete his degree. Upon the early death of his father, he used his inheritance to open a rice mill in his home town of Kyungnam. That endeavor was not especially successful so he established a trucking business in Daegu on March 1, 1938, which he named Samsung Trading Co, the forerunner to Samsung. Samsung means "Three Stars" which explains the initial corporate logos.
Despite problems caused by Japan's rule over Korea, by 1945 Samsung was transporting goods throughout Korea and to other countries. The company was based in Seoul by 1947. It was one of the ten largest "trading companies" when the Korean War started in 1950. With the conquest of Seoul by the North Korean army, Lee was forced to relocate his business to Pusan. The massive influx of U.S. troops