Run Run Shaw

Run Run Shaw

Shaw, Run Run, 1907-, Chinese film mogul, best known of the six Shaw brothers who founded an Asian movie empire. In Shanghai, he and brother Runme Shaw established the Shaw Organization (1926) and Shaw Studios (1930), both of which became major factors in the growth and production of Asian films. The siblings set up production and distribution facilities for their movies, many of which were shown in Shaw-owned theaters in SE Asia and in a network of Chinatown cinemas worldwide. In Hong Kong during the late 1950s Shaw founded the colony's then-largest privately owned film studio and soon became known as Asia's movie king, producing flashy, action-packed historical and martial-art features until 1985. His kung-fu epics were particulary popular in the West and influenced a number of Western filmmakers, e.g., Quentin Tarantino. Shaw since has focused much of his attention on television, founding and running Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB), which creates programming for Hong Kong and overseas Chinese audiences. In the early 21st cent. he was the driving force behind the construction of Hong Kong Movie City, a studio and production facility. Shaw also has become a major philanthropist, donating billions to charity and establishing the Shaw Prize for scientific achievement. He was knighted in 1974.

Sir Run Run Shaw CBE, GBM (October 4, 1907) is a Hong Kong media mogul.


Sir Run Run Shaw was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China and raised in mainland China, but received his education in American-run schools. He is one of the six sons of Shanghai textile merchant Shaw Yuh Hsuen (1867-1920).

At age 19, during his summer vacation, he followed his third elder brother Run Me Shaw to Singapore to start a film market and establish Shaw Organisation. Following that, he developed a deep interest in the movie business. He and his brother founded the South Seas Film studio in 1930, which later became Shaw Studios. In 1967, he launched TVB (Television Broadcasts Ltd.) in Hong Kong, growing it into a multi-billion dollar TV empire ranking today as one of the top 5 television producers in the world.

His wife died at age 85 in 1987.

Shaw Studios stopped filming in the same year. He remarried in Las Vegas in 1997 to Mona Shaw (formerly Fong Yat-wa and deputy chairman of TVB since 2000).

In 2000, through his company, Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Limited, he sold his unique library of 760 classic titles to Celestial Pictures Limited. His name is credited even in western movies which he has backed, such as in Blade Runner under the The Ladd Company logo.

Continuing to show perseverance, Shaw Studios entered a new era with Run Run Shaw's majority investment (through his various holding companies) in the US$180 million Hong Kong Movie City project, a studio and production facility. The facility features one of the largest, fully air-conditioned and sound and vibration-insulated soundstages in Asia, a full-service color lab and digital imaging facility, over 20 sound and editing suites, a 400-seat dubbing and screening theatre, executive and production office space, banqueting facilities, and visual effects and animation capabilities. This facility serves as the center-piece of Shaw Studios and indeed the whole Chinese film industry as a whole moving forward.

Sir Run Run Shaw holds significant other business interests around the world. His construction of the 23-story Shaw Tower at Cathedral Place located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is just one example of his real estate interests.

Over the years, he has donated billions of dollars to charity, schools and hospitals. His name is on many buildings in Hong Kong and China mainland due to his generous donations. The fourth constituent college of the collegiate Chinese University of Hong Kong is also named after Sir Run Run, whose patronage made the establishment of the college possible.

He donated $100 million Hong Kong Dollars for disaster relief after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.


In 1974, he was awarded the CBE. He received his knighthood in 1977 and the Grand Bauhinia Medal (GBM) from the Hong Kong Special Administration government in 1998.

The Shaw Prize

He recently established an international award, the Shaw Prize, for scientists in three areas of research, namely astronomy, mathematics, and life and medical science. The award is up to US$1 million. The press called it the "Nobel Prize of the East". The first prize was awarded in 2004.


Shaw's eldest son, Dr. Shaw Vee Meng, is head of the Shaw Foundation in Singapore. Shaw graduated as a barrister-at-law at Gray's Inn, London. He has been in the family's movie business and heads a number of academic and charitable organizations.

Shaw's daughter, Violet, lives in Hawaii and is married to Former Morgan Stanley Executive Director Paul Loo.

Further reading

See also


External links

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