25 Years of KoreAm Covers: Influential Figures

To mark the 25th anniversary of KoreAm Journal, we’re revisiting some memorable covers from the magazine’s archives.

Take a look at some of the creative talent, athletes, influential figures, social issues and tragic events that have appeared on our cover. The panoply of images, we hope, will serve as a historical flashback, a glimpse into the people that inspired us, the issues we explored and the events that called for deeper reflection over the last 25 years.


Here are some influential figures who have graced KoreAm‘s cover over the past 25 years. 


Congressman Jay C. Kim (April 1998): A closer look at the first Korean American elected to U.S. Congress, who in 1998 was sentenced to two months’ home detention for campaign finance violations. “After rescheduling three or four times, we were denied an interview in the 11th hour,” John Lee, a contributing editor at the time, says.


50 Novel Ideas (June 1999): “A guide to every published Korean American novel” was the focus of this cover feature.


Chang-Rae Lee (Sept. 1999): By this time, the author of 1995’s Native Speaker was about to debut his second novel, A Gesture Life.


Lela Lee (May 2001): Spending time with Lela Lee, creator of the Angry Little Asian Girl cartoon, which Lee developed in 1994.


Our Philanthropists (June 2001): KoreAm profiles four Korean American philanthropists “who realize money’s power is not just for the taking, but for the giving too.”


Sketch of Obama (Feb. 2009): Korean American artist David Choe created this portrait of a newly inaugurated Barack Obama that formed the cover issue image.


Chef David Chang (June 2009): The famed Korean American was well on his way to building his Momofuku empire with Noodle Bar, Ssam Bar, Milk Bar and Ko.


Out: Lt. Dan Choi (Aug. 2009): KoreAm profiles Army discharge 1st Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq veteran and vocal critic against the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.


Michelle Rhee (Dec. 2009): Two-plus years into the D.C. School Chancellor’s tenure, KoreAm looked at the education leader’s record.


Phil Yu, aka Angry Asian Man (Nov. 2010): Ten years after the launch of popular blog Angry Asian Man, KoreAm learned how its founder Phil Yu became, in the words of writer Jeff Yang, “Asian America’s most influential blogger.”


Jane Kim (Feb. 2011): KoreAm spoke with Jane Kim, the first Korean American elected official in San Francisco and “unabashed policy geek.”

In the next chapter of “25 Years of KoreAm Covers,” we share some of the tragedies and natural disasters that KoreAm covered over the years.

Go to Next Chapter -> 


Read the previous chapter, “Koreans on the Road to Fame.” 

This article was published in the April/May 2015 issue of KoreAm. Subscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the April/May issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).