Under the direction and dedication of Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee, the ATA supported (and continues to support) numerous charitable organizations, especially the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). For three consecutive years – 1987, 1988, and 1989 – the ATA received the MDA Award and donated over $1.5 million to fight the illness. ATA fundraisers are also held for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, D.A.R.E. Program, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Arkansas Special Olympics. Eternal Grand Master Lee was also involved in the Sister City Program between Little Rock and Hanam City, Korea.
In 1988, Eternal Grand Master received the High Profile Award from Arkansas Business. Through the years he also received other honors including Key of the City Awards from Omaha, Nebraska; Corpus Christi, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Evansville, Indiana; Tallahassee, Florida; and Panama City, Florida. Because of his support of the city of Little Rock with his many civic activities and the impact that the Songahm Taekwondo World Championships has on the city, the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau presented Eternal Grand Master with the Kaleidoscope Award in 1994 and the Crystal Award in 1996.
Eternal Grand Master Lee was presented with the most prestigious Highest Profile Award of any Korean outside of Korea by the President of the Republic of Korea (1996); and was the recipient of the Korean Broadcasting System’s (KBS) Cultural Promotion Award (1997) which is valued at approximately $100,000. In November of 1997, Eternal Grand Master was named to the Arkansas Athletic Commission. In 1999, after being a nominee for several years, the ATA and Eternal Grand Master were awarded the prestigious Arkansas Business of the Year Award by the state of Arkansas.
In 1999, Eternal Grand Master Lee acted on his motto, “Today not possible, Tomorrow Possible,” when he escorted a group of instructors to the communist state of North Korea. He is recognized by state officials as being one to help bring peace between the two Koreas. The President of Korea, Dae Jung Kim awarded Eternal Grand Master Lee with the highest Humanitarian Award possible.
Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee’s personal motto, “Today Not Possible, Tomorrow Possible,” made him successful in many ways. The international media recognized his prestigious feats as a human being and his humanitarian efforts. The Korean media has produced many shows and full-length documentaries, including the award winning Success Story, by KBS on the life and achievements of Grand Master Lee. In the United States, he made appearances on many news programs and talk shows including Live With Regis and Kathy Lee!, The Jerry Lee Lewis Show, and ABC’s Good Morning America. His son, L. Taekwon Lee produced and finished a full hour documentary film on Grand Master Lee’s life and the story of the ATA titled Today Not Possible, Tomorrow Possible, which has not been released to the public. He is now in the works of producing a full-length feature film on his legendary father.
After 64 years of humanitarian efforts and achievements, Eternal Grand Master Lee passed away on October 5, 2000, following a valiant battle against cancer. Over 3,000 students and members of his international family gathered in his beloved hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas to wish him farewell at a beautiful funeral ceremony. Upon Eternal Grand Master’s passing, the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, sanctioned close advisor, Mayor Jim Dailey, to messenger a personal letter to the ATA family. Eternal Grand Master Lee is survived by his wife Mrs. Sun Cha Lee and four children, David, Flora, Lisa and L. Taekwon. Many Grand Masters of martial arts, including Grand Master Joon Rhee and Grand Master Bong Soo Han, gathered to pay respect to Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee. They formally sanctioned a petition to elevate the Songahm Grand Master to 10th degree black belt, Eternal Grand Master, the highest position attainable outside the philosophy of Songahm Taekwondo.
Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee Tribute Video
[ TRIBUTE VIDEO ]