Jon Huntsman Sr. dead at 80

SALT LAKE CITY -- Jon Huntsman Sr. died Friday at the age of 80.

The Huntsman Cancer Foundation confirmed Huntsman's death Friday afternoon, but no further details were immediately available.

The foundation released a statement Friday, saying in part "We express our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Jon M. Huntsman Family on the loss of founder, mentor, and friend, Jon M. Huntsman."

Peter Huntsman, Jon's son and the current CEO of Huntsman Cancer Foundation, stated: "The most effective way to honor our founder and chairman is to carry on his passion and vision until we accomplish our objective, the eradication of cancer."

Susan Sheehan, President and COO of Huntsman Cancer Foundation, stated "We look forward to the continued support and working with our over 1 million contributors around the world. With the foundation Mr. Huntsman built, we are making more progress than ever before."

The full statement from Huntsman Cancer Foundation is available at the bottom of this post.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement Friday in response to the passing of Huntsman.

"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.”

Jon Huntsman Sr. was born in 1937 and spent his life engaged in charitable giving. He donated more than a billion dollars to charity over his lifetime and founded the Huntsman Cancer Foundation in 1995.

His humanitarian efforts extended beyond cancer research. In 1988, after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake devastated northern Armenia, Huntsman saw a people in need and joined the international relief with $53 million. Huntsman became the only American to ever receive the Armenian Medal of Honor.

Huntsman stepped down from his role as Executive Chairman of the Huntsman Corporation in December of last year after serving in that role for 48 years.

Huntsman spoke in detail to Fox 13's Bob Evans last July when he appeared on 3 Questions. 

The full statement from the Huntsman Cancer Foundation is reproduced below:

"We express our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Jon M. Huntsman family on the loss of founder, mentor, and friend, Jon M. Huntsman.

Jon Huntsman established the Huntsman Cancer Foundation 1995 to bring to reality a vision to ease the suffering of those carrying the heavy burden of cancer. He guided the creation of a world-class, and world-renowned cancer institute. From the first gift he and Karen Huntsman made in 1993, to the recent pledge of an additional $120 million, Jon Huntsman and his family have demonstrated a singular clarity of focus about what was needed for our State and our region to battle this dreaded disease.

Mr. Huntsman did not just create a cancer institute. He created a movement that stands as a dare to cancer. Today, more than 1 million donors have joined in this quest to eradicate cancer from the face of the earth by supporting Huntsman Cancer Institute. With 1 mile of linear bench space in state-of-the¬art laboratories, an internationally renowned team of researchers are working tirelessly to find better ways to prevent, treat, and cure cancer. In addition to research, hundreds more, including clinicians, nurses, social workers, and others, work every day to compassionately care for people with cancer. Thousands more learn about cancer prevention through education and outreach provided by the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Last year alone 125,000 patient treatments were provided at HCI. This past year, Jon Huntsman took steps to assure that there would be continued growth and focus for well into the future. And even earlier, Mr. Huntsman was preparing for the future. On July 1, 2015, Peter Huntsman, his son, was named the CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Additionally, on that same date, Susan Sheehan was named President and COO.

Peter Huntsman stated, “The most effective way to honor our founder and chairman is to carry on his passion and vision until we accomplish our objective, the eradication of cancer.” Mrs. Sheehan added, “We look forward to the continued support and working with our over 1 million contributors around the world. With the foundation Mr. Huntsman built, we are making more progress than ever before.”