Huntsman founder Jon Huntsman dies at 80

02 February 2018 23:33 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Jon Huntsman, the founder of US-based Huntsman, passed away on Friday at 80.

He founded what was the company's predecessor, Huntsman Container, in 1970, which developed ground-breaking innovations in packaging and plastics.

In 1974, he created the clamshell container for fast-food sandwiches, the company said. Huntsman would go on to develop as many as 30 other landmark products, including the first plastic plates and bowls.

He would go on to create Huntsman Chemicalin 1982 in Salt Lake City. The company is now one of the leading producers of polyurethanes and epoxy resins. Huntsman's legacy extends to Venator Materials, a pigment producer which the company spun off in 2017.

Huntman's contribution to the industry was recognised in 2001, when he received the Petrochemical Heritage Award.

In addition to his achievements as an industrialist, Hunstman was also a notable philanthropist, who dedicated himself to supporting cancer research, famine relief and higher education.

He established institutions like the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education and the Huntsman World Senior Games. In 1995, he contributed $100m to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute. More than $2bn has been directed to the institute, a large portion of which came directly from Huntsman and his wife, Karen.

“Some 10,000 Huntsman employees today mourn the loss of our founder,” said Peter Huntsman, the company's current CEO.  “Dad loved to visit our sites around the world.  Many of our employees knew him personally, and he knew many of them by name.  All respected him deeply. They regarded my father as their personal coach, mentor and friend.  While never a chemist, he knew more about human chemistry than anyone I have ever met.

“His passion was building a great company from assets and people that others had seen less value in than he.  He leaves behind a great company, but even more so, a legacy of optimism, ethical behaviour and philanthropy that will serve as his greatest accomplishments.”

The Huntsman Cancer Foundation is accepting donations in in Jon Huntsman's memory. A link can be found here.

By Al Greenwood