Lee Kun-hee, charismatic leader of Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest conglomerate, died on Sunday, the company said, six years after he was hospitalised for a heart attack.
Lee, who was 78, helped grow his father Lee Byung-chull's noodle trading business into a powerhouse, with dozens of affiliates stretching from electronics and insurance to shipbuilding and construction.
He died with his family by his side, including his son, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y Lee, the conglomerate said.
Lee is the latest second-generation leader of a South Korean family-controlled conglomerate to die, leaving thorny succession issues for the third generation.
"Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business. His 1993 declaration of 'New Management' was the motivating driver of the company's vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society," Samsung said in a statement.
During his lifetime, Samsung Electronics developed from a second-tier TV maker to the world's biggest technology firm by revenue - seeing off Japanese brands Sony, Sharp Corp and Panasonic Corp in chips, TVs and displays; ending Nokia Oyj's handset supremacy and beating Apple Inc in smartphones.
"His legacy will be everlasting," Samsung said.