Jon Meade Huntsman, Sr. (born 1937 in Blackfoot, Idaho) is an American businessman & philanthropist. He is the founder of Huntsman Corporation and a member of the Forbes 400 and resides in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
He grew up in poverty, graduated from the Wharton School, worked as a staff member in the Nixon administration, and finally worked for Dow Chemical Company before starting his own business in 1982. That business grew into a multi-billion dollar company, Huntsman Chemical. He is a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as an Area Seventy and as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy. He has also served as stake president and mission president in the Washington, D.C. mission.
In 2007, Huntsman co-founded a new private equity firm, H&G Capital Partners, joining former Bain Capital executive Robert C. Gay to focus on investments in middle market companies. Among Huntsman's partners is Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.
Huntsman has been an important donor to several causes, both locally in Utah and nationally. One of his most notable causes is his co-founding of the Huntsman Cancer Institute His namesake HCI building holds this quote "Selfless giving unto others represents one's true wealth."
Other notable causes include: his co-operative fundraising initiatives for his fraternity, Sigma Chi; the Wharton School, which named its main building after him; the University of Utah, which named its main 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; and recently the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. In December 2007, Utah State University announced that its College of Business would be re-named "The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business," in recognition of a gift from Jon and Karen Hutsman of $25 million—the largest in the university's history. He supported 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, also a devout member of the LDS church.
Huntsman is a member of and has strong ties to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently serves as an Area Seventy and as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Church. His father-in-law is the late David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; his son Peter married the daughter of M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Huntsman's daughter is married to the son of Bonnie D. Parkin, who served as the Church's General Relief Society President from 2002 until March 2007.
Huntsman has been married to his wife Karen for nearly 50 years, and they are the parents of 9 children and have over 70 grandchildren, two of which are adopted from China and India (the children of Gov. Huntsman). Their oldest son, Jon Huntsman, Jr., was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and their second oldest son, Peter R. Huntsman, Sr., took over as CEO of the Huntsman Corporation from Huntsman; Huntsman remains as the chairman to the corporation.
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's experience.
The Deseret News ran a long article on Huntsman in May 2001. In this article, the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson, said the following about Huntsman, who is typically perceived to be conservative:
Time Magazine identified Huntsman as the sixth largest philanthropist in the United States in 2000. In 2007, Huntsman gave $750 million in contributions and donations, placing him second on The Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the nation's top 50 givers.