'Renaissance man' Jon Huntsman Sr. has a legacy of giving

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  • silvercloud41NE Fremont, NE
    Dec. 29, 2013 1:36 a.m.

    Get out of debt and start letting the money that used to go for interest on that debt begin to help others, including your family, achieve more in life and, by your example, strive to become debt-free. Mr. Huntsman know from experience that the "high" that comes from helping others far transcends the low that being mired in debt causes. It's just possible that one person you help will go on to help hundreds or thousands of others... just because of you! You may not not have the millions that he has but you will make a difference. Try it.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    I don't know Mr Huntsman.

    I lived in Omaha for a while, and knew where Warren Buffett lived. A large, modest house in an older neighborhood. He leads a philanthropic organization of billionaires who pledge to give at least 50% of their wealth away. He pointed out that many billionaires refuse to participate. They can't live on $500 million? he asked. In Omaha, the founder of Godfather's Pizza lived in a stupendous house with 16 or so garages. For his birthday party, he chartered the Concorde and flew a hundred of his closest friends to London for the party. Buffett was not amused.

    Currently, the top 1% of wealthy Americans control about 25% of the economy. And yet, we don't want to tax them. US education is falling on hard times. Music, arts, and even sports are being dropped around the country. Millions of jobs have been "offshored" to Asia. Millions of new college graduates cannot find jobs. Unlike Europe, we don't offer public training in needed job skills. We're importing engineers and technicians and not training our own.

    Good for Mr Huntsman. Now if only a few of his colleagues would help impoverished Americans!

  • Dougway Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 9:05 p.m.

    Truthseeker: edit my comment to "per capita". FTW. Salvation Army and United Way also need to be adjusted to the amount that makes it past the administrative shrink.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    I have no standing to judge Huntsman. Certainly he has been successful in creating wealth and jobs. He has also donated a substantial amount to help others.

    But i also know people who have nothing yet they share of their nothingness. They will never get a headline in a newspaper or their name on a building. They may even be castigated for having nothing--accused from a distance--of being lazy or ignorant or both.

    In the end we will stand before the Great Judge to have our hearts and souls measured, stripped of all our worldly goods.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Jon Huntsman Sr. gave 20% of his salary to charity when his salary was $250 a week. I'd say that before he had wealth he was greater than most around him. As to the "classical definition" of a renaissance man, do you know he is not? Renaissance man, "a man who is interested in and knows a lot about many things" or "a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems." Let's see: Solving specific problems in business, charity, education, medicine, using knowledge from each of those fields as well as genealogy, I'd say he qualifies.

    @ Samson01
    "However, having met with him for a few minutes, I was floored by how badly he treated me."

    I'm sorry for your experience. Perhaps the man who has had cancer 4 times and now has severe arthritis was having a bad day. Myself, I've met with him a few times and felt genuine love.

  • jmason San Diego, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    I should have made myself more clear. JH, Sr. is incidental to my post. I'm not really criticizing him. I'm criticizing the LDS propensity to reverence wealth, LDS for whom wealth "sanctifies". This article is a good example of this. JH, Sr. is a man of great business accomplishment and he is a noted philanthropist (like Bill Gates, for example). But a "renaissance man"? This is an example of the "sanctification" I'm talking about. How is he a "renaissance man"? (See classical definition of renaissance man.) It's the idea that wealth alone endows a person with every virtue and accomplishment under the sun. But strip this person of his wealth, and what is he? Then he's like Lear in "King Lear" when he is stripped of all his wealth and titles and finds that he is no different, even less, than those around him.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    This man will make it through the eye of the needle quite easily, IMHO.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    It seems that in this day in America we are supposed to not only feel negative toward people who get wealthy, but according to Michelle Obama, should not even try to get rich. Mitt Romney gave away his first million. I believe that kind of charity and faith helped him achieve all that he later was able to do. And as for the difference between a widows mite and a person worth 100 million dollars. If the millionair gave away 99 million of his 100 million they would still be viewed in the eyes of some as greedy, because they would still be millionaires. Test yourself. Ask yourself if you came into a lot of money, millions, what would you do with it, and how much would you give to charity. Understand that in yourself first before judging the actions of people already there. Some of you might be surprised to find that a Ferrari would be sitting in the driveway of your new 10,000 square foot home.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Funny...I am so conflicted about this article.

    I admire someone who does so much for so many. His anthropological exploits are truly miraculous!

    However, having met with him for a few minutes, I was floored by how badly he treated me.

    I wish him the best.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Amazing man, even more amazing legacy...we could all learn more about the things in life that are of most importance from JH Senior.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    "J mason: Utah leads the world in charitable contributions"


    #1 Tithing goes for church operations and maintenance. Utahns rank high in paying tithes.

    #2. Catholic Charities USA, has more than 2,500 local agencies that serve 10 million people annually,

    In 2010, Catholic Charities USA reported expenditures of between $4.2 billion and $4.4 billion, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which publishes an annual list of the 400 biggest charities in the United States, ranked by the amount of donations they receive. This enabled it to rank near the top of the 400 list, behind two major social-services charities -- the United Way and the Salvation Army.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    from the perspective of a patient at Huntsman Cancer Institute, I can tell you it is a first class, well run operation with some of the world's best oncologists. thank you mr. Huntsman for you foresight and generosity. Utah and the intermountain west is very fortunate to have access to this facility, world class in a small population market.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    I would also like to commend Jon Huntsman, Sr.s wife, Karen Huntsman. She supports what he does 100%! She is the daughter of David Haight, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and was a very humble, wise, and good man. The Huntsmans, Sr.s have vowed to give away to charitable causes their entire fortune in their lifetime. Many benefit from the Cancer Institute in SLC. It became a great cause for them when their daughter died of cancer. Glenn Beck calls Jon, Sr. the most "selfless" man he has ever met. God bless you Jon and Karen Huntsman!

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    God bless President Huntsman.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    While the Scriptures speak of the widows mite, they also speak of the servants who were given different talents - with the one being given the most receiving the most due to his stewardship. It is simply not our place to judge what will be of more value value from the eternal perspective. Perhaps God specifically blessed Huntsman because God knew that Huntsman would give away great amounts of his wealth as he has. We do not know.

    What is sad is that as a country we are becoming an envious people. If someone is wealthy they must have either obtained their money dishonestly or they are not being generous enough with what they have. At the same time, many of those who criticize the rich do not do much on their own to help the poor.

    The idea of giving away everything you have as suggested results in far less being given to charity. Had Huntsman given everything he had once he became a millionaire, the amount given would be a small fraction of what he has given. Even the church does not give everything it has in the wake of each disaster.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Dec. 26, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    San Diego, CA

    "It's not how much you give but how much you keep for yourself."

    Perhaps if you'll spend more time making yourself able to do something like what Mr. Huntsman and his family are doing to help millions, then you wouldn't wonder how much they keep for themselves. The widow's mite is great in the eyes of God as far as giving one's all to the Lord, but how much of that can help in terms of immediate need as in disasters like the one in Armenia? If a million poor widows give one penny or a dollar because that's all they have, and a million Huntsmans gave millions or billions each because they can afford to and still have some left for themselves, who do you think helped the needy and destitute the most? It's unfortunate that some people do nothing but sit and criticize those who are actually working hard and give so much to help! It's those kind of people that I honor and salute!

  • Gene Poole SLC, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 1:12 a.m.

    jmason from San Diego... I find it quite interesting that respect for those who are willing to give away and "pay it forward" are in your eyes worshipers of wealth. You don't know me, will never hear of me and yet, since 1972, I have given away 50% of my net income to others. Beyond my contributions to the church. No one knows it and I don't usually say anything about it. I guess in your eyes, it means I don't want to be worshiped. I just feel it is no one's business. One of my greatest pleasures is to be in a grocery line and tell the clerk that I am also paying for the person right behind me. Then I inform the customer. Some resist. Most are happy. The caveat is that they must pay it forward 3 times in the next year to complete strangers. Most agree. What have you done on a consistent basis to anonymously help others. Laudatory praise aside, I feel that Jon Huntsman is a mentor to those of us who are capable of giving more. I wish you all the best in your search for peace. Angst is a difficult taskmaster.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    Huntsman is a great man!

  • jmason San Diego, CA
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    "It's not how much you give but how much you keep for yourself."

  • The_Laird Patchogue, NY
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    Concur with DN Subscriber. The entire Huntsman family is quite remarkable.

  • Dougway Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    Petra: The Huntsman's management of their wealth does more self sustaining perpetual good than if they gave the entire fortune to buy breakfast one time for needful people. Recall the story of the goose that laid golden eggs.
    J mason: Utah leads the world in charitable contributions. In a natural disaster, some of the first relief on the scene comes from Utah. We reference wealth for the good it can do.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Dec. 25, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    I wonder how much good his charity giving has done compared with his efforts as a businessman in creating companies, providing salaries and wages, and easing the lives of millions with their products. While its nice that he has the money to give to good causes, that wouldn't be the case if he hadn't lived in a capitalistic society that rewarded his efforts and allowed him to make our lives better.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    A truly great and generous man who has dome an unbelievable amount of good for so many people.

    Thank you, Jon Huntsman, Sr!

  • jmason San Diego, CA
    Dec. 25, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    Hugh Nibley, in "Approaching Zion", talked about the "reverence for wealth" that LDS people display. I can't think of a better example of this than this article. It is this kind of thinking, or the kind of thinking displayed in this article, that always make me want to flee the Wasatch Front (where I live part-time) for good.

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    While I commend those like Warren Buffet and Jon Huntsman Sr. for giving of their bounty, and while I absolutely recognize the powerful impact their very large contributions have in this world, I also contend that, from the eternal perspective, those who are only able to give on the level of the widow's mite, and do so, are much better off than those with greater means. Those of greater means could vaguely approach this extraordinary giving of the impoverished if they gave so much of their substance on a regular basis that, by so doing, they could never be sure of their next meal, of the roof over their heads, of heat to sustain them through the cold months. Until that happens (and were it to happen among the ultra rich on a common and regular basis, we would certainly see gross inequality disappear on this Earth before long) I would suggest we idolize those of large means less and those generous in spite of meager means much, much more.....