Ronald Tae Sok Kim was born on May 2, 1979 in South Korea, the only child of Sun Hee Kim and Seo Jun Kim.
The family moved to America seven years later so that Ron could have a better life. They opened a Korean grocery store that faced many financial challenges and ultimately filed for bankruptcy. This left an indelible mark on Kim and inspired him to be a strong advocate for immigrant workers and small business owners.
They moved into The Barbizon at 142-05 Roosevelt Ave. in Flushing. Despite financial hardships, Kim’s parents invested everything they had — and even borrowed money from family — to send their son to the $50,000-a-year Riverdale Country Day School. Later, he earned a full scholarship to Hamilton College and Baruch College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and master’s degree in public administration as a national urban fellow, respectively.
In 2012, Kim married Xilou “Alison” Tan and became the first Korean American elected to the state Legislature.
He gained national attention in 2020 after questioning Gov. Cuomo on his handling of the nursing home death crisis and exposing Cuomo for threats to end Kim’s career if he did not retract his statements.
His childhood building, where his apartment was purchased by his grandmother for $100,000 in the early ’90s, is now a condo where units sell in excess of $500,000.