"There was a moment in my life that I was at rock bottom. I said to myself that I really have two choices: either I commit suicide or I try to make something of my life."
As a teenager, Jeong Kim found himself alone and friendless in a strange land. His family had abandoned him, and his imperfect English seemed to limit his opportunities in his new country. But he would not give up. He looked at the careers of computer tycoons like Steve Jobs and thought, "If he can do it, why not me?"
With the help of a sympathetic teacher, Kim finished high school, won a college scholarship and became full partner in a computer company while still a student. He served his adopted country, and after leaving the military, struggled to build his own business. His company, Yurie Systems, soon became a leader in the field of electronic telephony. While still in his 30s, Kim sold the enterprise to Lucent Technologies for over a billion dollars.
Though he might well have retired on his earnings, Jeong Kim continues to work, teach and innovate. He continued to work with Lucent after the sale of his first company, and served as President of its Bell Labs subsidiary. Today he is Chairman of Kiswe Mobile, a company he founded to develop new technology for interactive live video. He is living proof that the American Dream is alive and well.