In memory of Dr LEE Jong-wook (1945-2006), WHO Director-General

Dr LEE Jong-wook
Dr Lee worked at WHO for 23 years

Dr LEE Jong-wook, WHO Director-General, died on the morning of 22 May 2006 following a sudden illness.

Dr Lee, a national of the Republic of Korea, was a world leader in public health. He tackled every challenge with passion, dedication and professionalism. He was unfalteringly committed to the mission of WHO, to help all people to attain "the highest possible level of health."

He was 61 years old. Throughout his 23-year career at WHO, he made a difference in every programme he managed - whether by leading the charge to eradicate polio from the Western Pacific, or to launch a cutting edge Global Drug Facility so people would have access to tuberculosis medicines.

Dr LEE Jong-wook

  • Biography
    Dr Lee probably knew WHO better than most, having worked here for 23 years
  • Selected speeches
    Speeches by Dr Lee as Director-General


On the first anniversary


Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General

"The world has lost a great man."

George W. Bush, President of the United States of America

"Dr Lee worked tirelessly to improve the health of millions of people"

M. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Ministre des Affairs Etrangères de la France

"Le Dr Lee était avant tout un médecin de santé publique au service des autres et d’abord des plus défavorisés."

Tadahiro Lee

"My father was a man of action, whose adventurous spirit led him to experience more, see more, and do more. This spirit made him great at work, and great at life."