Samuel Tak Lee was born in April 1939. He has a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
One of his most prominent acquisitions was his purchase of London's historic Langham Estate for $75 million in 1994. He then developed The Knightsbridge Apartments in Knightsbridge, London.
In 2007, he donated $9 million to Hong Kong's Diocesan Boys' School, of which he was a student between 1951 and 1958.
In 2015, Lee donated $118 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to be used to establish a real estate entrepreneurship lab focused on China.