WHO IS LEE JAE-MYUNG?

 
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A Life Journey of Presidential Candidate Lee Jae-Myung.

WHO IS LEE JAE-MYUNG?

This article is a brief life story of Lee Jae-Myung. He was born in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, the
son of a poor family, and grew up in an urban poor family. After graduating from elementary school, he lived as a 'factory boy' for six years while obtaining secondary school graduation qualifications through the General Educational Development (GED). He went to college on a full scholarship for three years and passed the bar exam at 23. After that, he lived as a labor rights lawyer and civic activist until his mid-40s. He then served as Mayor of Seongnam City for eight years from 2010 and Governor of Gyeonggi Province from 2018 to October 2021. He
fought against the corrupt establishment and implemented 'pragmatic reform politics' that
emphasized people's livelihood.
The life of Lee Jae-Myung, the best people's serviceman of our time, who will break through the crisis and turn it into an 'opportunity for the great leap forward of the Republic of Korea in a time of great transformation, started his life from a desperate struggle with poverty. His
indomitable courage and will to turn crisis into opportunity even in the worst conditions and his aspiration for a fair world coincided with the people's aspirations for 'change and
innovation.' He was elected as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party running for 'Republic of Korea's 20th Presidential Election'.
I. A Strong Aspiration for a Fair World Sprouts
1. A Poor Childhood
Lee Jae-Myung was born in 1963 (registered officially in 1964) in Dochon-ri, Yean-myon, located at the foot of Mt. Cheongnyang in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, the seventh of nine children (five sons and four daughters). His parents were slash-and-burn villagers who lived in the mountains, and the whole family rented a small two-room house made of cement blocks. He was often hungry. To him, the azaleas, which bloom profusely in the mountains and fields in springtime,
were not flowers but food.
His mother was so busy working in the field every day and had to take care of several children that she could not remember his exact date of birth. She visited a fortune-teller to confirm his birthdate. Jae-Myung's mother told him that the fortune-teller chose an auspicious date and set a birthday, telling her that he would grow up and become a great man. She used to encourage Jae-Myung whenever she had a chance, saying, "Jae-Myung, you will be a great person later on!" This mother's encouragement has boosted JM's mental confidence and optimistic attitude about the future in the face of all kinds of adversity.
When he attended Samgye Elementary School, his house was far from the school in a mountainous area. He had to walk 5km to go to school. He was often absent. When it rained or snowed, he had a hard time going that long way. According to his first-grade record, he skipped 76 days. Because his family was so poor, he could not prepare any materials for class, such as crayons and drawing paper. He used to be beaten by his teachers because he could not pay the school fees. But he also met many great inspiring teachers.
His teachers helped him to go on a school trip when he was in the 5th grade. Jae-Myung did not submit a travel agreement because he could not afford a school trip, which was a huge burden for his family. To persuade his mother, the homeroom teacher walked a long way to the shabby house and got her signature of agreeing to send him a school trip. The principal helped with travel expenses. She gave children in need, such as Jae-Myung, to pick stones from a reclaimed stone field near the school and gave them a daily allowance. In addition, she let the children run the school canteen and use the profits to pay for the school trip for poor children. With such considerate care, all students in the 5th grade went on a school trip together. These experiences greatly influenced JM's later belief and philosophy on universal welfare and basic economic rights.
Young Jae-Myung liked books. He experienced 'the joy of knowing' and 'the true taste of reading' by reading almost all the masterpieces for young children in the library, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Count of Monte Cristo in the small library of the school.
However, due to his family's financial situation, he had to give up going to middle school after elementary school graduation.
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