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Kee Il Choi ’51

Published in Mar. 22, 2006, issue

Kee Il was born May 1, 1922, in Taekwan, North Korea, the son of Jihung Choi, and died of pneumonia Dec. 1, 2005, in Brookline, Mass.

He came to Princeton from Keio University in Japan, majored in economics, and was a member of Prospect Club. He went on to Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in economics. Thereafter he spent a period of time in a sanitorium in Worcester, Mass., to recover from a tuberculosis infection. Following that he was a professor of economics at the College of William and Mary, Vanderbilt University, and Worcester State College.

In 1991 he retired to travel with his wife, Cho Soon, to write, and to enjoy his grandchildren. His wife predeceased him. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Choi '78, and sons, Kee Il Jr. and William '82.

A lifelong supporter of democracy and political freedom in his homeland, Kee Il organized expatriate groups in the United States during the '70s and '80s to promote democratic reform and civil rights in Korea. He will long be remembered as one of the first Koreans to graduate from Princeton. Kee Il felt privileged and blessed to have had the Princeton experience. His family may be contacted at

The Class of 1951

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