Samak Sundaravej (June 13, 1935 – November 24, 2009) (Thai: สมัคร สุนทรเวช; RTGS: Samak Suntharawet) was a Thai Chinese politician who briefly served as the Prime Minister of Thailand and Minister of Defense in 2008, as well as the leader of the People's Power Party in 2008.
Samak was born in Bangkok, Thailand to Phraya Bumrungrajabhariphan (Samien Sundaravej) and his wife Khunying Umphan Bumrungrajabhariphan (Umphan Sundaravej). He was of Chinese ancestry (ancestral surname Lee (李)) and had five siblings. Samak studied at Saint Gabriel's College and Assumption Commercial College, then graduating from Thammasat University. He also received diplomas from Chulalongkorn University and Bryant & Stratton College.
Besides being a politician, Samak was a well-known television chef. For seven years before the military coup of September 2006, he had hosted a cooking show called Tasting, Ranting on the Thailand ITV television network and on Royal Thai Army Radio and Television. He said that when he became Prime Minister, he would also resume his career as a TV chef and did. However, it is illegal for a government minister to hold another job, and on September 9, 2008, the full bench of the Constitutional Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for him to work in a private company, (Thailand ITV) and disqualified him from office.