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For week ended April 09, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 04Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

CNNfn Tells Huntsman Story
Deseret News 3Apr00 B2
By Max Knudson: Deseret News business editor

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- CNNfn's 'Pinnacle' program featured LDS billionaire and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman in a half-hour biography broadcast Sunday night. Huntsman's story is well known in Utah, according to the Deseret News, who compares his notoriety to Abraham Lincoln, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.

The program gives an overview of Huntsman's life, as well as telling details such as Huntsman's "world class" collection of Beanie Babies, his habit of tipping waiters and bell boys with $100 bills and the magnitude of his fortune. Huntsman was born in poverty in a two-room farmhouse without indoor plumbing. After graduating from Palo Alto High School, where his family had moved so that his father could go to Stanford, Huntsman met paper tycoon Harold Zellerbach, an opportunity that came because he was president of his High School class. Zellerbach recommended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for College, now one of the most prestigious business schools in the U.S.

While Huntsman knew nothing about Wharton, he enrolled and graduated, moving on to the military, and eventually a staff job in the Nixon White House. He then went to work for Dow Chemical, before deciding to strike out on his own. He soon landed the contract to provide McDonalds with its styrofoam Big Mac containers, quickly turning Huntsman into a millionaire.

But the show isn't without errors, the most obvious the claim that Huntsman is "an apostle in the Mormon Church." In fact, Huntsman currently holds a call as an Area Authority Seventy. However, his father-in-law is Elder David B.Haight of the Council of the Twelve.

The show also touches on Huntsman's two battles with cancer (mouth and prostate), which led him to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which he has funded with $150 million.


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