Who Is Jon Huntsman, Sr.?

Who Is Jon Huntsman, Sr.?

Jon Huntsman, Sr. is an American businessman and philanthropist. Worth $1.01 billion as of 2015, he is the founder of the Huntsman Chemical Corporation, the largest manufacturer of polystyrene in the United States.

Born June 21, 1937, Jon Meade Huntsman, Sr. attended Palo Alto High School in California. Harold Zellerbach, chairman of Crown-Zellerbach Paper Company, recruited him to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Huntsman graduated from Wharton in 1959 and in July of that same year, left for the U.S. Navy where he served two years.

After subsequently earning an M.B.A. from USC's Marshall School of Business, Huntsman was first employed by Olson Brothers, Inc. Rising through the ranks quickly, he came up with an idea to better the packaging for eggs, because poor packaging was hurting Olson Brothers, Inc. Huntsman's leadership was ultimately key in developing the first plastic egg carton.

In 1970, Huntsman created the Huntsman Container Corporation with his brother. This company, in 1974, created the "clamshell" container for McDonald's Big Mac. In 1982, Huntsman founded the Huntsman Chemical Corporation. As CEO and chairman, he grew the company into a multi-billion dollar business. The company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005.

Huntsman, Sr., a four-time cancer survivor, has been married to his wife Karen for over 50 years. In 1987, their son James, 16 years old at the time, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of $1 million. FBI agents ended up tracing the kidnapper and rescuing the boy unharmed.