When you consider the big leagues of Dallas philanthropy, 40-year-old Chul Ho Lim isn’t a major contributor. But for 12,000 Dallasites, he’s their essential link to American society.
Lim is the editor of the Dallas edition of the Korean Times, a national daily newspaper with 14 local editions published biweekly. For many transplanted Koreans, it’s the only news source available, since the Korean Times is the only local newspaper printed in their language.
In order to keep the paper’s Dallas bureau open, Lim works three jobs. His position as editor pays mainly in prestige, so he also runs a building maintenance company, in which he contracts local Koreans to clean Dallas office buildings, as well as a travel agency, where he works with his wife. Between his three jobs, Lim is busy about 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lim has an extensive background in journalism. After attending law school in Korea and working as a television anchorman, he came to the United States expecting a wonderland-a place to better his life. When he, his wife and their young daughter arrived in Los Angeles in 1974, he discovered that his vision was a bit grandiose. Lim’s educational background wasn’t honored here so he invested his savings in a car wash. Within a year, the Lims were broke.
After working at odd jobs in California to survive, Lim and his family came to Dallas in 1978. Slowly, they built their two businesses here.
Though Lim could become more financially successful if he left the newspaper and spent more time with his companies, he plans to continue working for the Korean Times.
“Most Koreans have the same problems I had,” he says. “They have to learn about American ways. My paper is the bridge between Korean and American communities. The USA saved my country in 1950. I cannot forget that.”