A Korean-American author and journalist, she is best known for her 2000 memoir, Ten Thousand Sorrows: The Extraordinary Journey of a Korean War Orphan. Her autobiographical work was translated into more than ten languages.
She lived in San Rafael, California and worked as a journalist at the Marin Independent Journal. It was during this time that literary agent Patti Breitman asked her to write a memoir.
At one point, she worked in Sweden as a model.
She was born in South Korea to an American father and a Korean mother. Her mother was tragically murdered in 1958 by Kim's uncle and grandfather, at which point Kim was sent to an orphanage.
She and Diane Sawyer are both respected journalists.