By Diana Wu, Librarian, University Library
“The Lives and Contributions of Pioneering Korean Americans” exhibit at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library showcases ten individuals who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the community and their professions.
A bibliography is also provided for further study on those people’s lives and Korean American.
The featured individuals are Philip Ahn, Judge Herbert Choy, Philip Jaisohn, Yanghill Kang, Harry Hyung-Soon Kim, Willa Kim, Young Oak Kim, Sammy Lee, Nam June Paik, and Grace Lyu-Volckhausen.
Philip Ahn is the first Asian American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Judge Herbert Young Choy is the first Asian American judge named to a federal court and the first Korean American to be admitted to the bar.
Philip Jaisohn is the first Korean to be naturalized as an American citizen and the first U.S.-educated Korean to receive a medical degree. Dr. Jaisohn was a physician, civil servant, political activist and newspaper publisher.
Younghill Kang is known as the father of Korean American Literature.
Harry Hyung-Soon Kim established the Kim Brothers company and, along with his brothers, became the first Korean American millionaire by producing and distributing nectarines, known as “fuzzless peaches.”
Willa Kim is the first Korean American to win Tony and Emmy awards for costume design and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007.
Colonel Young Oak Kim is the first Asian to lead an Army division and was a highly decorated World War II and Korean War veteran.
Sammy Lee is the first non-white American-born Asian to win an Olympic gold medal in diving. He is a physician.
Grace Lyu-Volckhausen has been a community activist and advocate for immigrants for over 35 years.
Nam June Paik is the father of video art.
The display runs through May 30 at the Cultural Heritage Center exhibit area on the fifth floor, and is one portion of the university’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration.
Sponsors include the Asian American Advisory Committee, Cultural Heritage Center and King Library.