He was a prime minister and a great commander. His family clan is Dongju. He was born in Hongju Jeokdong (currently Noeunli Hongbuk Hongseong) as a son of Wonjik who was an official in inspection service and also was a descendant (5th generation) of Yucheong, who had hold a Pyeongjangsa post.
He suppressed a revolt of Jo Ilshin in 1352. In 1358, he defeated Japanese army who invaded Oye port with the fleet of 400 ships in a surprise attack. When 40,000 of red-bandana invaded in 1359, taking Seokyeong’s fortress, he defeated the army as well. 100,000 of red-bandana invaded again in 1361 and Gaeseong had fallen to the enemy. He went to war with Ahn Woo, Yi Bangsil to defeat the enemy and reclaimed Gaeseong. When Japanese army invaded into Yeonan Gaetaesa in 1367 (King Woo’s 2nd year), he volunteered to fight even if he was too old to fight in a battle but he won a victory defeating the army. Because of his contribution, he became the vice-governor of Cheolwon. He suppressed the revolt of Jeju Mokho in 1374. When Japanese army invaded into Seungcheonbu in 1378, he defeated the army with Yi Seonggye and Yang Baekyeon. He later became the prime minister in 1388 because of his contribution in the past.
In 1388, when Ming proclaimed to build a military facility called Cheolryeongwi subjugating the north, west and east of Cheolryeong, he decided to defeat Ming’s army and led the army with King to Pyeongyang as a general of 8 provinces. At the same time, he ordered Jo Minsu, the left army general and Yi Seonggye, the right army general to attack Yodong with 38,800 soldiers. However, Yi betrayed with Jo turning the army from Wiwhado, which led the attack to fail. He was captured by Yi and sent exile to Gobonghyeon (currently Goyang), then was moved to Happo (currently Masan) and Chungju. After all, he was sent back to Gaeseong imprisoned in military prison, and was beheaded in December.
After people heard of his death, everyone closed their doors lamenting his death. 6 years after Yi founded a new dynasty, Yi gave him a posthumous epithet called Mumin to comfort his soul. It is said that grass does not still grow in his tomb, the red tomb in Gaepunggun (currently Goyang city in Gyeonggido) Deokmul Mountain.
It is recorded in [Shinjeung Dongguk Yeojiseungram] Hongjumok Sancheon edition that the shrine of General Choi Young is located at about 9.2km east of Bonju, “Sambong Mountain. Among the summits of a mountain, the shrine is around at the middle peak. It was torn down in 1970’s but reconstructed in 1995. A memorial service is held in every fall.
In 1995, Hongseonggun held the first memorial service for General Choi Young in a cultural event. After 1996, it held a memorial service to comfort General Choi Young’s soul.