Remembering Dr. Lee In-su: Former President Syngman Rhee’s Adopted Son Honored at National Cemetery

2023-11-01 13:08:23

Dr. Lee In-su (92), the adopted son of former President Syngman Rhee, passed away on the 1st.

Former President Syngman Rhee’s adopted son, Dr. Lee In-soo, paid his respects and apologized to the souls of the democracy at the National April 19th Democratic Cemetery in Gangbuk-gu, Seoul on the 1st./Reporter Nam Kang-ho

The President Syngman Rhee Memorial Foundation said, “Dr. Insoo Lee, the son of former President Syngman Rhee, passed away at 6:53 PM on the 1st at Seoul National University Hospital in Jongno-gu, Seoul,” and added, “The deceased devoted himself to ‘honoring his father’ consistently for 63 years.”

Dr. Lee’s funeral will be held at the funeral hall of Severance Hospital in Sinchon, Seoul, and the funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 4th. The burial site is the National Goesan Protectorate Center in Chungcheongbuk-do. The deceased had two sons, Byeong-gu and Byeong-jo, with his wife, Mrs. Jo Hye-ja.

Dr. Lee In-su was adopted by former President Lee while he was in Hawaii. It was a decision made by the Jeonju Lee family in November 1961. Since he was older than the president (86 years old at the time), he perfectly fit the conditions of having to graduate from college, be able to speak English, be single, and come from a well-educated family. He was also the 17th generation descendant of President Lee, who was the 16th generation grandson of Grand Prince Yangnyeong.

In a past interview, he said, “The responsibility (as former President Lee’s adopted son) seemed too heavy, so I told him to choose someone better than me, but people around me said, ‘If the Jeonju Lee clan had taken good care of me, my last years would not have been so miserable. “But I was eventually persuaded by the fact that my blood descendants had a duty to help me,” he said. “My father, who was the first superintendent of education in Yangju County, also encouraged me, saying, ‘This is a very difficult position, so your life will not be comfortable, but work hard.’”

At the time of his enrolment, he graduated from Korea University’s Department of Business Administration and was attending graduate school, but gave up his studies in Germany and accepted the fateful offer. Former President Lee looked forward to the arrival of his adoptive son from Hawaii, and when they first met, he held hands and patted his back, saying, ‘No matter how long an elephant’s trunk may be, it does not consider its trunk a burden, and no matter how many children a parent may have, he or she does not consider his or her trunk a burden. It is known that he liked it, saying, ‘I don’t think so.’

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Dr. Lee In-soo, son of former President Syngman Rhee, visited the April 19 National Cemetery last September and made an official apology./Newsis

After being selected as an adopted son, Dr. Lee visited Hawaii three times and visited his father, former President Lee. He went to Mauna Lani Convalescent Hospital from December 13, 1961 to March 17 of the following year, from January 28 to April 2, 1964, and again on July 4, 1965, and died on July 19.

Afterwards, Dr. Lee spent the rest of his life trying to restore his father’s honor. He continued to make efforts to reconcile with the victims of the April 19 Revolution, the ‘shadow’ of former President Lee, and last September, as the president’s son, he visited the April 19 National Cemetery for the first time in 63 years to honor the souls of the victims.

Moon Moo-il, secretary-general of the President Syngman Rhee Memorial Foundation, said, “After visiting the shrine that day, Dr. Lee said with tears in his eyes that he thought his father would be very happy, saying, ‘You did a good job.’” He added, “It is imperative to build a memorial hall and statue of former President Lee.” “He emphasized it like a will,” he said.

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