Jon Huntsman Sr., Billionaire and Philanthropist, Dies at 80

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February 02, 2018Feb 02, 2018

We’re receiving reports that Jon Huntsman Sr., a highly successful business and philanthropist whose son ran for president as a Republican in 2012, has died. He was 80.

According to the Deseret News, Huntsman died Friday afternoon. A cause of death has not been released, but his health is said to have been reclining recently.

Huntsman Sr. is known for founding the renowned Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, for donating large sums of money to boost education, for helping rebuild Armenia after a 1988 earthquake, for starting multiple successful businesses, and for being a general authority of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

His son, Jon Huntsman Jr., was one of the major candidates competing against Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination. Another son, Peter Huntsman, now leads the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Huntsman Sr. grew up poor in Blackfoot, Idaho. He found success investing in chemical companies and used some of his money to fight for the "eradication of cancer," according to Peter.

The president and COO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Susan Sheehan, said Huntsman Sr. "was my hero, my mentor and a beautiful human who uplifted so many. I will miss him."

Peter elaborated, saying, "In 2016, Forbes wrote that Huntsman and his wife, the former Karen Haight, were America's second-most generous philanthropists, having given away $1.55 billion in their lifetimes, which the magazine calculated as 160 percent of their net worth. Their generosity to the organizations and charities that caught their eyes or tugged at their hearts put them among roughly two dozen people who have given away at least $1 billion. Huntsman had also signed the Giving Pledge, which includes a vow to give away half of one's personal wealth." 

Please pray for his family as they deal with their loss. In other news, the lead singer of legendary '60s and '70s band "The Temptations" has died.

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