Won Kuk Lee, 95, the founder and a grandmaster of the Korean martial art of tae kwon do, died of pneumonia Feb. 2 at Arlington Hospital.
Mr. Lee had lived in Arlington since 1976, and during his years in this area had given martial arts demonstrations at tae kwon do, karate and other martial arts studios and schools in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington and at Howard University.
He was born in what now is South Korea and graduated from Central University Law School in Japan. At the time, Korea was ruled by Japan. In Japan, Mr. Lee studied under the martial arts master Gichin Funakoshi. Later he studied other Asian martial arts, including karate in Okinawa and kung fu in Henan and Shanghai. In 1944, he founded what became the first tae kwon do school in Korea.
During the period of the Korean War, Mr. Lee was in Japan, but he returned to Korea when the war ended.
In the 1960s, one of Mr. Lee's tae kwon do students was U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland, in the period when Westmoreland was commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. Westmoreland later helped him immigrate to the United States in 1976.
Survivors include his wife, Moon Chong-Kwi of Arlington; a son, Young Kil Lee of Arlington; two grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.