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Jo Byeong-okAndrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare
Jo was educated at Christian schools in Korea and studied at Columbia University, where he was strongly influenced by liberal and democratic ideas.
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JO BYEONG-OK (1894-1960). Born to a Christian family, Jo was educated at Christian schools in Korea and then studied at Columbia University, where he was strongly influenced by liberal and democratic ideas. After earning a Ph.D. in 1925, he returned to Korea, becoming a professor of economics at Yeonhui College (now Yonsei University). He joined a pan-national society of men named the New Shoots’ Society (Singanhoe), and in 1929 he was imprisoned for three years for his involvement in the Gwangju student incident. After his release from prison, Jo became a staff member on a vernacular daily paper, Chosun Ilbo. In 1940, he was again imprisoned for his nationalistic activity. In September 1945, Jo was one of the founders of the Korean (Hanguk) Democratic Party, serving briefly as director of the Department of Public Security of the United States Army Military Government in Korea. On the inauguration of the Republic of Korea, Jo became minister of home affairs. In 1952, he visited the United States and other democratic countries as a presidential envoy, campaigning for membership of the Republic in the United Nations. From 1951, Jo, as secretary general of a small Democratic Nationalist Party, struggled to promote democracy. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1954 and again in 1958, and in 1955 he became a co-founder of the Democratic Party. In 1959, the Democratic Party nominated Jo as its presidential candidate, but he died on 15 February 1960 while receiving medical treatment in the United States.
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