Lee Kun-hee, who transformed Samsung Electronics Co. from a copycat South Korean appliance maker into the world’s biggest producer of smartphones, televisions and memory chips, has died. He was 78.

Lee passed away on Sunday with his family by his side, the company said in a statement, without mentioning the cause of death. His family will hold a private funeral. He had been hospitalized since a heart attack in 2014 and was treated for lung cancer in the late 1990s.

Lee was South Korea’s richest person. He had an estimated net worth of $20.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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