한반도 현대사 연구 석학, 이정식 펜실베니아대학 명예교수 별세
이정식 미 펜실베이니아대학 명예교수이자 전서재필재단회장이 17일 오전 9시께 미 필라델피아 근교 요양원 시니어타운에서 숙환으로 인해 향년 90세를 일기로 세상을 떠났다고 한겨레신문이 19일 보도했다.
서재필재단 최정수 회장은 평소 가깝게 지내오던 이교수의 비보를 듣고 20일 자신의 페이스북에 “우리는 이시대의 한 거인을 잃었다”면서 비통한 심정을 전하고 이교수가 미디아시 로즈트리공원에 영구 안장된 서재필박사에 대해 쓴 ‘구한말의 개혁, 독립투사 서재필’을 집필했고 서재필재단에서 2대 회장으로 봉사했었다는 사실을 회고했다.
최회장은 지난 7월30일 이교수의 90회 생일잔치에 참석해 좋은 시간을 함께할 기회를 가졌다고 애통한 마음을 달래며 이교수의 마지막 생전의 추억을 전했다.이 교수는 이날 제자들이 때맞춰 보낸 축하인사 비디오를 함께 시청하고 무척 즐거워했다고 했다.
유족은 부인 우명숙씨와 딸 영란·지나씨와 사위 로버트 루소, 앤드 곽씨가 있고 장례식은 오는 28일 오전 10시 필라델피아 한인연합교회 주관으로 열린다.
최정수 서재필기념재단 회장은 “부인 새론(Sharon, 한국명 우명숙)과 지나(Gina)씨에게 장례 준비가 차질없이 잘 진행될 수 있도록 하겠다”고 덧붙였다.
고인이 1995년부터 스칼라피노 교수와 함께 소장 도서를 기증하고 석좌교수도 지냈던 경희대 평화복지대학원은 사이버 조문소를 열기로 했다.
한겨레신문은 고인의 학문적 업적을 자세히 소개했다.
“1931년 평안남도에서 태어난 고인은 54년 미국 유학길에 올라 3년 만에 로스앤젤레스 캘리포니아대학에서 학사와 석사 학위를 마치고 61년 버클리 캘리포니아대학에서 정치학 박사 학위를 받았다. 1963년부터 펜실베이니아대 정치학과 교수로 일했다. 1973년 미국에서 펴낸 <한국공산주의운동사>는 이듬해 미국 정치학회가 주는 최고저작상인 ‘우드로 윌슨 재단상’을 그에게 안겨주었다.
1988년 중반 한국어판도 나온 <한국공산주의운동사>(한홍구 옮김·돌베개 펴냄)는 100년에 가까운 한국 공산주의 운동사 전체를 일관된 흐름으로 아우른 저작으로, 국내 출간 이후 북한의 실체를 바로 알기 위한 필독서로 꼽혀왔다. 고인은 이 책에서 시베리아에서 시작된 한국 공산주의 운동이 항일 독립운동의 일부였다는 관점을 보였고, ‘북한 최고 지도자가 항일무장투쟁을 한 김일성 맞다’고 기술했다.
지난해 고인은 중국 국공내전이 치열하던 1946년 만주에서 부친을 잃고 면화공장 노동으로 가족 생계를 책임지다 2년 뒤 평양에서 고모네 쌀가게 점원으로 일하고, 한국전쟁 때는 중국포로 심문관으로 활동한 드라마 같은 생애를 기술한 자서전 <만주 벌판의 소년 가장, 아이비리그 교수 되다>를 펴내기도 했다. 국내 출간 주요 저서로 <구한말의 개혁, 독립투사 서재필>, <대한민국의 기원>, <여운형> 등이 있다. 박정희 대통령을 저격한 김재규(1926∼80) 전 중앙정보부장 관련 자료집 <인간 김재규>를 미국에서 낸 적도 있다.”
<최정수 서재필재단회장이 김주만박사가 쓴 이정식교수에 대한 글을 공유한 페이스북 갈무리>
We lost a “giant” in our time. His writing about Dr. Philip Jaisohn (Soh, Jai-Pil) is permanently engraved on the Philip Jaisohn Monument in Rose Tree Park. Dr. Chong-Sik Lee was our 2nd Chairman of the Board. Fortunately, we had an opportunity to share good time with Dr. Chong-Sik Lee at his 90th Birthday Dinner on July 30th. We even had his former students sent their greeting videos. He really enjoyed it. RIP! We will support Sharon & Gina to ensure his funeral arrangements proceed smoothly.
My FB friend Dr. Juman Kim wrote in his FB posting:
I am saddened to learn from Korean media that Professor Chong-sik Lee passed away this past Tuesday. He taught in the Department of Political Science at Penn for about four decades, and was the originator of Penn’s Korean Studies Program. He retired from Penn in 2000, so I didn’t have an opportunity to study or work with him. But I have some good memories I cherish, which have to do with my first unexpected encounter with him at a restaurant in Korea, a couple of email exchanges, his warm welcome and encouragement, and his sense of humor.
I hope that Penn Political Science, Penn’s Kim Program, Philip Jaisohn Foundation, or many other organizations both in the States and in Korea will hold some events in the future to honor his work as well as to cherish his memory. I can’t find his obituary in English yet, so for those of you who do not know Chong-sik Lee, here’s what I can say about his life and work, for now.
May he rest In peace.
Chong-sik Lee (이정식 李庭植), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, died on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021. He was 90 years old.Professor Lee was born Kaechon—about 50 miles north of Pyongyang—in Korea under Japanese Rule in 1931, but grew in multiple places including Hankou—one of the three old towns merged to become modern day Wuhan, China—where he could attain perfection in Japanese.
At the age of fourteen, he lost his father. As the oldest among five children of his widowed mother, now living in Liaoyang in China, he had to take the role of the breadwinner in his family. He worked at a doctor’s office as an aid, taking care of patients who mostly suffered from syphilis and gonorrhea. He once worked at a cotton factory as well, which required him to practice and develop his Chinese as well as his skills of calculation.Lee’s family came back to Korea in 1948.
At that time, Korea had already been divided into South and North Koreas. He first settled in Pyongyang, not so far from his hometown. He continued to support his family by delivering rice to houses. When the Korean War broke out, he evaded military service for the North Korean Army. After surviving bombing raids by U. S. Air Force, he fled for the South in early 1951. For South Korea and the U. N. Command, he worked at the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section, an opportunity he was able to seize due largely to his perfect Chinese and Japanese.
Most of Chinese POWs at the time were Northerners, speaking standard Mandarin, whereas most of the American soldiers who were in charge of questioning Chinese POWs were either Japanese Americans who didn’t speak Chinese or Chinese Americans who could only speak Cantonese. They would stage a huge welcome for someone like Lee who was perfectly fluent both in Chinese and Japanese.
In turn, he learned English from his colleagues at the ATIS at a tripping pace. No wonder that he called this place later “my English school.”As the war drew to a close, Lee moved to the States with the aid of American officers and Christian missionaries.
Soon, he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UCLA. He recalled later that even in those times, his primary concern was always with achieving the means of supporting himself and his family. It was Robert Scalapino—the famed Asia expert—who first inspired him to become a scholar in general and a scholar of Korea and East Asia in particular.
Looking back upon his old days, Lee once said that he had never been interested in—also known nothing about—Korean history prior to his encounter with Scalapino. He finished his PhD at UC Berkeley. His dissertation, directed by Scalapino and submitted in 1962, was entitled The Korean Nationalist Movement, 1905-1945.
Lee joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. He taught at Penn for almost forty years until he retired in 2000. He co-authored and published Communism in Korea in 1973, the same year he got promoted to Full Professor at Penn.
With Scalapino, he received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs in 1974. Professor Lee wrote numerous books and articles, including his acclaimed biographies of Philip Jaisohn, Syngman Rhee, Kiusic Kimm, Woon Hyung Yuh, and Chung Hee Park.
Last year, he published an autobiography that covers his life up to 1974. He left out the rest of the stories for next time. In his (arguably) last newspaper interview, Lee expressed his unabated interests in Korean political history—especially in the puzzling question concerning Stalin’s failure (or refusal) to respond to Kim Il Sung that lasted for about five days during the Korean War. He will be remembered as a scholar of highest rigor whose questions will continue to inspire the following generations of students and scholars of Korea/East Asia.
HANI.CO.KR‘한국공산주의운동사’ 공저자 이정식 교수 별세미국 필라델피아 28일 장례식