Jon Huntsman Sr., who donated over $1.4B to cancer research, dies at 80

Leo Vartorella - Print  | 

Jon Huntsman Sr., a Utah businessman who donated over $1.4 billion to cancer research and created the Salt Lake City-based Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, died Friday at age 80, according to The New York Times.

In addition to founding successful packaging and chemical companies, Mr. Huntsman served in President Richard Nixon's administration. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of Utah in 1988, and his son, Jon Huntsman Jr., served as the state's governor from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Huntsman's interest in cancer philanthropy began in 1992 after both his parents died from the disease.

He founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute in 1995 with a $10 million donation and recently pledged an additional $120 million to the center.

"Jon M. Huntsman was a great man who led a profoundly inspiring life. Other than his family, his goal to eradicate cancer from the face of the earth was the greatest passion of his life," said Mary Beckerle, PhD, director and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

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