Dr. Jimmy Choi (최진환 / Choi, Jin-Hwan) was born in Korea on June 19, 1936. He obtained his MD (oral anatomy) from Seoul National University. He immigrated to the U.S in 1971 and graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry in 1974. In addition to his professional activities as a dentist, Dr. Choi was an activist and philanthropist. Inspired by Korean patriot leaders Jang, Jun-Ha and Kim, Gu, Dr. Choi actively participated in democracy and civil rights movements for Koreans and Korean Americans, and worked for the reconciliation and reunification of Korea. He is most well known as the founding board president of Korean Resource Center, which has worked to educate and empower Korean Americans in the U.S. and had contributed to South Korea's democracy movement in the 1980s and 1990s. Dr. Choi spent his last years devoted to nurturing the next generation of Korean Americans to appreciate the legacy of Ham, Sok Hon, Jang, Jun-Ha, and Kim, Gu. Dr. Choi was a Christian and authored a book on biblical theology. Dr. Choi passed away on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.
Dr. Choi's activities as an activist and philanthropist include:
- 1980: Newspaper articles for Sinhan Minbo on democracy in Korea.
- 1982: Founding member of the GwangJu Victims Relief which sent $30,000 by 1988 to support the victims and families of the 5.18 GwangJu People’s Uprising.
- 1983: Founding board president of the Korean Resource Center for eight years. Served the KRC board for a total of 25 years where he supported the civil rights, education, and empowerment of Korean Americans. He is also a founding member of Korean Americans for Peace and Justice through which he actively participated in the Korea democracy movement.
- 2001: Philanthropic activities that included participation in a Kilimanjaro climb challenge for the blind, well drillings in India organized by JungTo Society, and fundraising to support restorative surgery for Korean Japanese professor, Soh Sung, a burn scar victim.
- 2001: Korea reunification march along the border of the two Koreas.
- 2009: With the Korean Resource Center, Dr. Choi initiated the Kim Ku Essay Contest and Scholarship Project marking the 60th year since the assassination of the Independence leader. In partnership with the World for People in Los Angeles, he led numerous commemoration forums recognizing leading Korean leaders and thinkers such as Jang, Jun-Ha and Ham, Sok Hon.
- 2011: Authored "Olle Road of Biblical Theology."