Billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr., and author of a new book, Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer, talks about how he built a successful business — and why he plans to give away that fortune before his death.
illionaire entrepreneur, distinguished public servant, and father of a former governor and presidential candidate, Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. has been very fortunate in life. The company he founded in 1970, the Huntsman Corporation, is now one of the largest petrochemical manufacturers in the world, employing more than 12,000 people and generating over $10 billion in revenue each year. Success in business, though, has always been a means to an end—never an end in itself.
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In Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer, Huntsman revisits the key moments in his life that shaped his view of faith, family, service, and the responsibility that comes with wealth. He writes candidly about his brief tenure in the Nixon administration, which preceded the Watergate scandal but still left a deep impression on him about the abuse of power and the significance of personal respect and integrity. He also opens up about his faith and prominent membership in the Church Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
But most importantly, Huntsman reveals the rationale behind his commitment to give away his entire fortune before his death. In 1995, Huntsman and his wife Karen founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute and have since dedicated more than a billion dollars of their personal funds to the fight for a cure. They don’t plan to stop giving until the battle is won.
In this increasingly materialistic world, Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer is a refreshing reminder of the enduring power of traditional values.