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Chairman (Founder) / Chairman of
Dong-A University Law, Bachelor
Masan High School
US$236M ▼ $193K
Kang was born in 1939 in Masan, South Gyeongsang Province. He went to Masan High School and studied law at Dong-A University, earning his own tuition as his family went through financial difficulties.
He started as a used car import dealer and built up a transportation company. In 1942, however, he changed the course of his business, purchasing a tire manufacturing factory and setting up a tire company named Heung-A.
The company changed its name to Nexen and grew into a major tire maker with an annual sales of 1.84 trillion won ($1.58 billion, 2015).
He married Kim Yang-ja in 1966 and their only son Ho-chan is being groomed to take over the control of the company, currently serving as president.