Park Chung-hee was a South Korean politician and army general who served as the President of South Korea from 1963 until his assassination in 1979.
He first ruled the country in office as head of a military dictatorship installed by the May 16 military coup d'état in 1961. Before his presidency, he was the chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction from 1961 to 1963 after a career as a military leader in the South Korean army.
Park's coup brought an end to the interim government of the Second Republic and his election and inauguration in 1963 ushered in the Third Republic. Seeking to bring South Korea into the developed world, Park began a series of economic policies that brought rapid economic growth and industrialization to the nation that eventually became known as the Miracle on the Han River. South Korea possessed one of the fastest growing national economies during the 1960s and 1970s as a result.
Although popular during the 1960s, by the 1970s, as growth began to slow, Park's popularity started to wane. This resulted in closer than expected victories during the 1971 South Korean presidential election and the subsequent legislative elections.