Min Young-bin, founder of South Korea’s major private English-teaching institute YBM, died on Friday. He was 88.

Min graduated from Korea University with a degree in English literature and founded Sisa English in 1961 after briefly working at the English daily The Korea Herald. He later re-named the company after his by-line, Y.B. Min.

He was touted as a pioneer of the nation’s English education in many ways. He was the nation’s first developer of audio materials for English education.

He introduced TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) in 1982 and nurtured it as the nation’s most popular English test. Last year alone, nearly two million people took the test to find a job, get promoted or for other reasons.

He also dedicated himself to helping financially those translating Korean literature at home and abroad. His efforts were acknowledged with orders of merit from the government and several public organizations.

Min is survived by his wife Chung Myung-sook, a former Ewha Womans University professor, and five children.

His funeral is scheduled to be held at Asan Medical Center in Seoul at 8.30 a.m. today


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