Jeanhee Kang was born into dire poverty in Iksan, South Korea, in 1957. She was destined for a life of hard labor, constant hunger, and destitution. At the age of five, while working in the rice paddies and slicing leeches off her legs with a machete, she determined to have a better life, and she saw education as the way to achieve it. At eight she vowed to go to America one day to realize her dream. Then, at sixteen, a fallen woman expelled from school and shunned by her family and an unforgiving society for violating a sexual taboo, she ran away. She worked as a prostitute until the age of eighteen, when she found a G.I. to take her to America, and within twelve hours of arrival, she enrolled in an American high school.
Kang endured setbacks, delays to her dream, domestic violence, failed marriages, and the loss of two sons—one to a car accident and one to parental kidnapping—in her struggle to make a success of her life. At thirty, homeless and broke, she became a street peddler to rise above her status as a single mom on welfare in Jackson, Mississippi. Within five years she emerged as a self-made millionaire. She established her own chain of stores.
In May 2014, Kang graduated from the University of Mississippi, achieving her goal of fifty years. She has written a book titled Run Away: A Memoir.
Kang is currently a motivational speaker for women’s groups, a spokesperson for Feed the Hungry Worldwide (UNICEF), a soup kitchen volunteer to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving, an advocate and benefactor for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and a mentor for the Global Connection Learning Center for teen moms at Jackson. She is a member of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, the Jackson Area League of Women Voters, and the Professional Women’s Association of Jackson. She lives in Flowood, Mississippi.
You can learn more about Jeanhee at http://jeanheekang.com/author_biography