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FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2015, file photo, shows Jon Huntsman, Sr., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. Utah billionaire and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. has died. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Jon Huntsman, Utah billionaire, philanthropist dies at 80



By Larry D. Curtis, KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Jon Huntsman, business mogul and one of Utah's wealthiest residents, died on Friday. He was 80.

The billionaire businessman and philanthropist is known for starting the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, that seeks to find a cure for all cancers.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, in 1970 Huntsman and his brother launched a company that won the contract to create the clamshell for McDonald's Big Mac and he eventually turned that company into a successful plastics manufacturing empire. He is also known for his generosity with his wealth.

Huntsman also served as President Richard Nixon's staff secretary.

He lost both of his parents to cancer and was also diagnosed with cancer, putting him on the path to fight the disease.

He donated money to religions and charities and is known for giving access to his jet to LDS church leaders and others. According to the Tribune, he has donated more than $1.8 billion to charity, a status that only a handful of people in the world achieved.

Huntsman is a household name in Utah and far beyond, because of the legacy started by Jon Huntsman.

His family purchased the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City, preserving a news source with a long Utah tradition.

"We are honored to be stewards of The Salt Lake Tribune," said son Paul Huntsman in 2016, who cited the importance that the Tribune remain locally owned. "We hope to ensure the Tribune's independent voice for future generations and are thrilled to own a business of this quality and stature."

Another son, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., was President Donald Trump's choice as U.S. ambassador to Russia, is cast as bright, diplomatic and a man of the world and was a Republican presidential candidate.

The First Presidency of the LDS church released the following statement at his passing:

We share today in the grief of the Huntsman family. We honor Jon as a cherished husband, father and friend, esteemed as a leader for his exceptional capacity, commitment, philanthropy and service throughout the world. We express our love to Karen, to their children and family. Jon's legacy of faithful leadership, generosity and goodness stands as a beacon for the entire Huntsman family and many others throughout the world.

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