By Vivienne Chow
South China Morning Post
January 7, 2014
Entertainment tycoon and philanthropist Sir Run Run Shaw passed away at home on Tuesday morning. He was 106.
Local Chinese media said he was 107.
Shaw was instrumental in shaping Hong Kong media culture, co-founding the Shaw Brothers Studio, which produced more than 1,000 films since its establishment in 1958, and Television Broadcasts (TVB), Hong Kong’s first free television, in 1967.
Shaw attracted top talents to the station, the city's largest film studio and television broadcaster, ushering in what many call the golden age of TV entertainment in Hong Kong.
TVB veteran Liza Wang praised Shaw for building Hong Kong into “Hollywood East” through his movies and TV productions.
Shaw was also a well-known philanthropist who had a passion for education. Lawmaker James To recalled he once asked Shaw how many schools he had. “He then sank into deep thoughts for two minutes,” To said in a radio show this morning. “Then he said he had more than 4,000 schools.”
To said he had run into Shaw a few times on the MTR many years ago. “He was in his 80s. He said it was rush hour and he had to be on time,” To said.
Former TVB general manager Stephen Chan agreed that the tycoon had placed high emphasis on education. “Don’t think education is expenses. Education is investment,” he quoted Shaw as saying to a government official.
Shaw was known to be a keen practitioner of qigong, an exercise aligning energy and the body. Former TVB general manager Ho Ting-kwan said Shaw began practicing qigong in his 60s and he did it first thing in the morning. He said he ate very little each meal and went to bed early, which was his secrets to longevity.
Shaw was received Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974 and was knighted in 1977. In 1998, he received Grand Bauhinia Medal from the Hong Kong government.
He set up Shaw Prize in 2004 awarding scientists who have achievements in the areas of astronomy, mathematics and life and medical science.
Shaw, born on November 23, 1907, originally founded the Shaw Organization with his brother in 1926 in Shanghai. Four years later, the firm became Shaw Studios.
He invested in many notable films, including Ridley Scott's cult classic Blade Runner, according to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, which gave him a Special Award just last month.
After a 44-year career, Run Run Shaw stepped down from all his TVB posts in December 2011. In March that year, he sold his entire 26 per cent holding in TVB to a group of investors for HK$6.26 billion.
He is survived by his wife, Mona Fong Yat-wah, with whom he had three sons and two daughters.
SHAW, Run Run (Ren-leng Shao)
Born: 11/23/1907, Ningbo, China
Died: 1/7/2014, Hong Kong, China
Run Run Shaw’s western – producer:
The Stranger and the Gunfighter - 1974