Jon Huntsman, Sr.

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Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Jon Huntsman Sr 2004 Huntsman Award Ceremony.jpg
Jon Huntsman, Sr., 2004, at Chemical Heritage Foundation
BornJon Meade Huntsman
(1937-06-21) June 21, 1937 (age 76)
Blackfoot, Idaho, USA
ResidenceSalt Lake City, Utah, USA
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
USC Marshall School of Business
OccupationFounder & Chairman, Huntsman Corporation
ReligionThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Spouse(s)Karen Haight
Children9
 
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Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Jon Huntsman Sr 2004 Huntsman Award Ceremony.jpg
Jon Huntsman, Sr., 2004, at Chemical Heritage Foundation
BornJon Meade Huntsman
(1937-06-21) June 21, 1937 (age 76)
Blackfoot, Idaho, USA
ResidenceSalt Lake City, Utah, USA
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
USC Marshall School of Business
OccupationFounder & Chairman, Huntsman Corporation
ReligionThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Spouse(s)Karen Haight
Children9

Jon Meade Huntsman, Sr. (born June 21, 1937) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of Huntsman Corporation and the father of Republican politician and diplomat Jon Huntsman Jr.

Early life and education[edit]

Huntsman was born in Blackfoot, Idaho. His mother, Sarah Kathleen (née Robison), was a homemaker, and his father, Alonzo Blaine Huntsman, was a school teacher.[1] The family moved to Palo Alto, California in 1950, where Alonzo pursued graduate studies at Stanford University. Jon became student body president of Palo Alto High School, where he was recruited by Harold Zellerbach, Chairman of Crown-Zellerbach Paper Company, to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania on a Zellerbach scholarship.[2] He graduated at the top of his class in the spring of 1959. Mr. Huntsman married Karen Haight, daughter of David B. Haight, in June, 1959. In July Huntsman left to serve for two years in the U.S. Navy. He subsequently earned an MBA from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and has been awarded thirteen honorary doctorate degrees at various universities.

Business career[edit]

Huntsman was first employed by Olson Brothers, Inc., an egg-producing company in Los Angeles. He rose through the ranks to the position of Vice President of Operations and his leadership was key in developing the first plastic egg carton. In 1967 Huntsman became President of Dolco Packaging Corporation, a joint venture between Olson Brothers, Inc. and Dow Chemical Company. He left Dolco in 1970 to form Huntsman Container Corporation with his brother, Blaine, and others in Fullerton, California. In 1974, Huntsman Container Corporation created the "clamshell" container for McDonald's Big Mac and developed other popular products, including the first plastic plates, bowls and fast-food containers.[2] After completion of its first international site at Skelmersdale, England, Huntsman Container Corporation was sold to Keyes Fiber Company, and Huntsman served as CEO of the container business for four more years and held a directorship of Keyes Fiber Company. In 1982 he founded Huntsman Chemical and in his capacity as CEO and Chairman, grew the business into the multi-billion dollar company which became known in 1994 as Huntsman Corporation. In 2001, Huntsman announced that his companies could not make their interest payments on junk bonds.[3] Huntsman Corporation became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. In 2007 Huntsman co-founded a new private equity firm, Huntsman Gay Global Capital, joining former Bain Capital executive Robert C. Gay (1989–2004, managing director[4]) to focus on investments in middle market companies. Among Huntsman's partners is Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.

Political involvements[edit]

In 1977, he was chairman of the Western States Republican Leaders. He was also the Republican Party of Utah national committeeman from 1976 to 1980. He is friends with conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck. He is also more socially conservative than his son Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Nixon administration[edit]

While the Huntsman Container Corporation's first packaging plant was being built in 1971, Huntsman joined the Nixon Administration as Associate Administrator of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and later served as Special Assistant and Staff Secretary to President Nixon. Upon completion of the second Huntsman Container site in Troy, Ohio in 1972, Huntsman left the White House staff to become President and CEO of Huntsman Container.

Presidential elections[edit]

He served as Chairman for Utah in Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1984 and George H. W. Bush's campaigns in 1988 and 1992.[5]

1988 Utah gubernatorial election[edit]

In March 1988, Huntsman announced he would run against incumbent Utah Governor Norm Bangerter in the Republican primary. Huntsman was leading in public opinion polls, sometimes by a double digit margin. He spent almost $300,000 in campaign advertising. A few weeks later, Huntsman went on a 10 day business trip to Asia with his friend U.S. Senator Jake Garn, who was chairman of Governor Bangerter's campaign.[6] In mid-April he dropped out and endorsed the governor, saying that party unity and his business responsibilities were more important than his political career.[7] He also said that no strings were attached and they were still friends. Huntsman asked all independents to come back and support him. According to Salt Lake City's Deseret News, before he dropped out, Huntsman met with the governor in a private meeting and Bangerter agreed to forgive people who endorsed Huntsman (such as U.S. Congressman Dan Marriott) and to reach out to him for the state's economic development. The Deseret News called it the "007 script".[8] Later that year, Governor Bangerter appointed Huntsman to be Ambassador for Economic Development for the State of Utah.

Support for son's presidential run[edit]

Just before the New Hampshire Republican primary, 2012, NPR said of Jon, Jr's campaign: "Last year, The New York Times reported that Huntsman is reluctant to ask his father for money, but the candidate calls that story 'a little misinformed'. He says the Huntsman family gives to humanitarian causes and doesn't consider a political campaign to be a humanitarian cause. Even so, the elder Huntsman is reported to have given much money to the superPAC,[9] [Our Destiny PAC[10]], that supports his son."[9] The PAC spent over $900,000 on ads in New Hampshire in the two months before the January primary[10] and over $2 million overall.[11] Huntsman, Sr. attended campaign events[12] and was on stage at the third-place finish celebration in Manchester, New Hampshire. Huntsman Jr. announced his intention in Manchester to continue the campaign in South Carolina[11] but dropped out on January 16, in advance of the vote there, throwing his support to Mitt Romney.[13]

Philanthropic efforts[edit]

Huntsman is widely recognized for his humanitarian giving which, including contributions to the homeless, the ill and the under-privileged, exceeds $1.2 billion and has assisted thousands, both domestically and internationally.[citation needed] The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed Huntsman second on their 2007 list of largest donors. On January 1, 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune included him among "The 10 Utahns Who Most Influenced Our State in the 20th Century". In 2001, Huntsman was presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2003, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award. In November 2008, the American Cancer Society presented him its Medal of Honor for Cancer Philanthropy.

One of his most notable causes is the Huntsman Cancer Institute, of which he is the founder and principal benefactor. He and his wife, Karen, founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute in 1995 to accelerate the work of curing cancer through human genetics. The institute is now one of America's major cancer research centers dedicated to finding a cure for cancer with a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital.[2]

Other notable causes include: Sigma Chi; his support of The Wharton School, in recognition of which one of the school's signature buildings, Huntsman Hall, was named in his honor and he serves as Chairman of the Wharton Board of Overseers; the University of Utah, which named its special events arena after him; a new law library at Brigham Young University, which at his request was named after Howard W. Hunter; notable family philanthropy in earthquake ravaged Armenia and a new library at Southern Utah University, which he also requested be named after someone else (retiring SUU President Gerald R. Sherratt).

In December 2007, Utah State University announced that its College of Business would be renamed "The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business", in recognition of a gift from Huntsman and his wife of $26 million—the largest in the university's history to that time.[14]

In November 2013, Huntsman donated $50 million to the University of Utah for the construction of a new research building dedicated to children's cancer. Construction of the new building is slated to begin in 2014.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Huntsman has been married to his wife Karen for more than 50 years, and they are the parents of 9 children and have 56 grandchildren, two of whom are adopted from China and India. Their eldest son, Jon Huntsman, Jr., was elected governor of Utah in 2004, later became ambassador to China, and was a candidate running for President in the 2012 election. Their second eldest son, Peter R. Huntsman, Sr., took over as CEO of the Huntsman Corporation from Huntsman in 2000. Jon, Jr. has also served as a Huntsman Corp. executive.

In 1987, Huntsman's son James, then age 16, was kidnapped and held for ransom. Huntsman was asked to pay a million dollars for the release of his son.[16] FBI agents traced a call made to Huntsman by the kidnapper (Nicholas Byrd)[17] to a grocery store where they found the kidnapper. During the arrest, an FBI agent was stabbed in the chest.[16] James was found unharmed.[18]

Huntsman is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as an Area Seventy from 1996 to 2011. He also served as a regional representative, stake president and as president of the Washington, D.C. Mission from 1980 to 1983.

Legacy[edit]

Huntsman authored and published the book Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten) in 2005, published by Wharton School Publishing. In the book, Huntsman conveys moral lessons drawn from his life experience. The second edition, titled Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, made the Wall Street Journal's best-sellers list.

The Deseret News ran an article on Huntsman in May 2001, in which the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson, said the following about Huntsman:

I was impressed with Jon from the first, when he told me he lost respect for Richard Nixon (Huntsman served as a special assistant to then-President Nixon in the early 1970s) when he learned that Nixon had not given anything to charity one year he was president ... It was clear to me that Jon's real motivation in his work and accumulation of wealth was to give much of what he has to make people's lives better.[19]

Wealth[edit]

His donations of more than $1.2 billion saw him dropped from the "Forbes 400" in 2010. He is one of only 19 of the world's 1,200 billionaires to have donated more than $1 billion.[20] His current wealth is not disclosed; however, he was listed as number 937 on the "Forbes World's Richest Persons" for 2010.[21] He has said that he wants to "die broke" by giving his money away to various charities.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Media Center - Huntsman Cancer Foundation
  2. ^ a b c Levenich, Christopher (Summer 2012). "The Fearless Philanthropist". Philanthropy. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Atlas, Riva D. (2001-12-30). "Even the Smartest Money Can Slip Up". New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  4. ^ Lord, Jeffrey, "Huntsman Sr. Partner With Bain Capital Executive", The American Spectator Spectacle blog, 1.10.12. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  5. ^ Kimball, James (1994), "Huntsman, Jon M.", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  6. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1885/HUNTSMAN-BOWS-OUT-OF-STATEHOUSE-RACE.html?pg=1
  7. ^ . April 13, 1988 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NewsLibrary&p_multi=DSNB&d_place=DSNB&p_theme=newslibrary2&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F35F6D24C10716E&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=BEtTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=z4MDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7260,5999097&dq=norm+bangerter&hl=en
  9. ^ a b Siegel, Robert and NPR staff, "Huntsman's Long-Shot Bet: A Surprise In N.H.", NPR All Things Considered, January 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  10. ^ a b Goldman, Julianna, "Huntsman’s bet on New Hampshire’s contrarian spirit allows him to stay in the race", Bloomberg via Washington Post, January 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  11. ^ a b Vogel, Kenneth P., "3 billionaires who'll drag out the race", Politico, 1/12/12 12:20 pm EST. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  12. ^ Coppins, McKay, "Jon Huntsman's Dad Could Go All In — Or Cut Him Off", BuzzFeed, January 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-16
  13. ^ Haberman, Maggie, et al., "Jon Huntsman to drop out, endorse Mitt Romney in 2012 elections", Politico, updated 1/16/12 9:58 am EST. Retrieved 2012-01-16
  14. ^ Leonard, Wendy. "Huntsman gives USU business school $26 million". The Deseret News. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Dolan, Kerry A. (November 7, 2013). "Chemicals Billionaire Jon Huntsman Boosts Children's Cancer Research With $50 Million Donation". Forbes. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Error Gives Attorney 2nd Chance to Seek Juvenile Status for Client", Deseret News (Salt Lake City). January 3, 1990.
  17. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/53820/TEEN-WILL-STAND-TRIAL-AS-ADULT-IN-ABDUCTION-OF-HUNTSMAN-SON.html?pg=all
  18. ^ "Suspect in kidnap-stabbing asks justices to review case", UPI via Deseret News, August 1, 1989. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  19. ^ Bernick Jr., Bob; Dillon, Lucinda (May 15, 2001). "Huntsman's charity sets him apart". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ Whelan, David (June 6, 2011). "Jon Huntsman On Giving Away $1.2 Billion". Forbes. 
  21. ^ "Jon M. Huntsman". Forbes. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ Shelley, Jeff. "Huntsman Springs: The Dream Materializes for its Namesake". Cybergolf. Retrieved January 10, 2012.

External links[edit]