Sue Chang, longtime MarketWatch journalist, dies at 53

Sue Chang, a longtime MarketWatch reporter and editor, died surrounded by family and friends at her home in California on Monday. She was 53.

She is survived by her mother, Soon Nam Kang; her husband, Jae Chyun; and her two children, Kyung and Jong.

Sue was a dedicated professional, colleague and friend. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was raised by a diplomat father and a professor mother.

Due to her father’s job, the family led a globe-trotting life most of us could only dream of, making their home in cities such as Ankara, Turkey; Hokkaido, Japan; Houston; and Taipei, Taiwan.

Sue attended an all-girls Catholic high school in Texas and the University of California, Irvine, where she majored in English literature. At UC-Irvine, Sue won her first award: Her Korean barbecue took first place in the first-ever universitywide contest for original recipe.

After her student visa ran out, she went back to Korea, “hoping to make dabbling look cool,” she said.

Instead, she married Jae Chyun, also from a Korean diplomatic family, and had Kyung and, two years later, Jong.

One day in Korea she by pure chance came across an ad looking for rookie reporters.

Having gotten a foot in the door, Sue went on to report on some of the biggest stories of our time, including the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the historic inter-Korea summit in 2000. She went on to become the first Korean to serve as bureau chief of a major U.S. media company in Seoul, working for Dow Jones Newswires in the early 2000s.

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A few years later, she found herself on another side of the Pacific, having joined the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, as a visiting scholar.

After a brief stint at Berkeley, she joined MarketWatch in October 2007.

On the day she got her new-hire packet, Sue said she felt as if she’d never left because she was assigned the same email address that she had when she worked for the wires — Dow Jones had bought MarketWatch a few years previously.

Sue would continue covering Earth-shaking news, such as the 2008 global financial crisis and the shift of global power dynamics with the emergence of China as an economic superpower.

At MarketWatch, she leaves numerous friends. Sue had been on a medical leave for the past few months.

She recently popped onto the office’s chat app, and her colleague Myra Saefong asked if she had any messages to pass along.

“Tell them I am OK and I miss everyone,” Sue wrote.

Typical Sue. She didn’t want anyone to worry.

Sue was a hardworking reporter and editor, and her work, available online, speaks for itself.

At MarketWatch, she was always willing to lend an ear and give advice, as a mother of two grown children — and of two West Highland terrier “fur babies.”

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She had large photos of the Westies displayed proudly at her desk.

She didn’t have pictures of her children at her desk. Instead, she had a framed drawing of her family to showcase her daughter’s art skills. When she shared an actual photo of her children following her son’s college graduation in 2017, it was one of the few her co-workers had seen.

Myra told her the kids looked great. “Almost as cute as my puppies!” Sue said.

Sue would always find subtle ways to show how extraordinarily proud she was of her family.

One day Myra told her about how her then-toddler daughter, who was just learning about death, said she’d miss her mom when she died.

Sue said: “Aw. Well, crap. I’ll miss you too. So don’t.”

We miss you too, Sue. And we wish you hadn’t.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sue’s name to the Humane Society of the U.S.

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