Utah businessman, philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. dies age 80

Utah businessman, philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. dies age 80

In a story February 2 about Jon Huntsman Sr., The Associated Press erroneously reported the amount of money Huntsman gave to a super PAC supporting his son's presidential campaign. Forbes listed his net worth as $1.21 billion.

The plastics industry lost a legend on February 2 when Jon M. Huntsman, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Huntsman Corp., died.

One of the most prominent businessmen and billionaires of the United States, Jon M. Huntsman, who was also known for his philanthropic activity focusing on areas of cancer research, programs at various universities, and aid to Armenia, died on Friday, February 2 aged 80.

In 1982, Mr. Huntsman formed Huntsman Chemical Corp. and later acquired other businesses, which are now consolidated as Huntsman Corp., with headquarters outside Houston.

"Jon and I have been friends for decades; our families have been friends for generations", former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said.

Huntsman was the founder and longtime executive chairman of the $11 billion company that refines raw materials that go into thousands of products. He was also the father of Jon Huntsman Jr., the USA ambassador to Russian Federation and former Utah governor, presidential candidate and ambassador to China and Singapore. During his lifetime, Huntsman Sr. and his family have given away at least $1.4 billion, according to the Deseret News. Mr. Huntsman had painful inflammatory condition, polymyalgia rheumatica, and previously had prostate cancer. He said he would see to it that the institute continues its mission "if it takes my last dollar-and I expect that will be the case". The firm's early products included polystyrene egg cartons and the iconic PS clamshell for McDonald's Big Mac.

Jon Huntsman established the Huntsman Cancer Foundation 1995 to bring to reality a vision to ease the suffering of those carrying the heavy burden of cancer.

He also wielded his power as a billionaire benefactor to the centre.

After the cancer institute's director, Mary Beckerle, was sacked in April 2017 by University of Utah president David Pershing, Mr. Huntsman called for her to be reinstated.

Rep. Mia Love also called Huntsman a mentor and friend.

Mr. Huntsman served as an assistant to President Richard M. Nixon but left the position before the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon's resignation in 1974. On July 1, 2015, Peter Huntsman, his son, was named the CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

The Salt Lake Tribune later reported that Huntsman died of sepsis secondary to cellulitis.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement Friday in response to the passing of Huntsman. Top LDS Church leaders remembered Huntsman for his generosity and service. "Our deepest sympathies are with the Huntsman family, and with all of those who were personally touched by Jon's legacy".

Huntsman said the family was exposed to the dark side of wealth and fame in 1987, when his then-16-year-old son James Huntsman was kidnapped at knifepoint from his driveway. A $1 million ransom demand was placed to the family, and the call eventually traced to a grocery store, where federal agents converged.

Huntsman was born in 1937 in Blackfoot, Idaho and later moved to California, where he met his wife Karen while in junior high there.

Huntsman is survived by his wife, Karen, eight of his nine children and dozens of grandchildren.

Funeral plans for Jon Huntsman Sr. have not yet been announced.



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