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Jon Huntsman Sr.

Old Main Society Member Utah billionaire, philanthropist Huntsman Sr. profiled in Forbes

Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., who has donated more than $1.2 billion over the years, is featured in Forbes magazine as one of 19 out of 1,000 of the world’s billionaires who have given more than a billion dollars to worthy causes.

Jon Huntsman Sr.

Jon and Karen Huntsman at a 2007 event at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Tribune file photo

His giving began long before Microsoft’s Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffet earlier this year pledged to give away at least half of their multibillion-dollar fortunes.

Huntsman, founder of global chemical manufacturer and marketer Huntsman Corp., then took that announcement a step further, according to Forbes.

"His take was that his peers need to step up," the article, published on Monday, said. It quoted Huntsman: "'It becomes a game to see how much you can accumulate. They [captains of industry] never have the joy of seeing the thankful tears of a cancer patient or seeing a kid go to college.'"

Huntsman's major giving goes back as far as 1992, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. En route to the hospital, he left a $1 million check at a homeless shelter. Another $1 million check went to a soup kitchen, followed by $500,000 to the clinic that found the malignancy.

Ultimately he created a cancer foundation, pouring in more than $1 billion. The Huntsman Cancer Institute, based at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, grew out of that.

Forbes writes that his donations last year "knocked him off the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest individuals — his net worth listed in Monday's article was less than $1 billion, at $900 million — "but a run-up in his company stock should put his net worth near $1 billion again this year."

"He says he plans to give it all away before he dies," the article said.

Huntsman's philosophy, according to Forbes: " 'The time to give away money is when you make it.'"

Source – The Salt Lake Tribune

Click here to view The Salt Lake Tribune Article.