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The Foxconn CEO: Andrew Carnegie of the 21st Century?

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Andrew Carnegie was not just one of the most innovative and successful industrialists of his day, he was also well established as a philanthropist—one could even say that he was more philanthropic than Bill and Melinda Gates today.  In contrast, Steve Jobs never believed in Philanthropy and sarcastically dismissed such endeavors as wasteful.

However, Steve Jobs may have simply never gotten over the fact that his biological parents gave him up for adoption just because they did not want him.

Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou’s early life is in contrast with the deceased CEO Jobs’ (and Foxconn’s largest customer)- Gou’s parents left mainland China and escaped to live in the back of a chapel in Taiwan to escape a looming political upheaval in their homeland.  By all indications, Gou’s family was always the most important thing to him in his life.

And, Gou has faced tragedy in his life that many of us do not have to face. First he lost his first wife to breast cancer…Then his brother to Leukemia. Since, Gou and his second wife Delia Tseng (a famous choreographer) have pledged to give 90 % of their wealth to charity. In keeping with their pledge, they have donated $454 Million (in U.S. dollars) to the Taiwan Cancer University- possibly, the largest single donation ever given to a college.

When in Wisconsin, Gou and several of his associates visited the University of Wisconsin to find out what they are doing with cancer research. Could this suggest Wisconsin Universities and other Charities dedicated to fighting cancer might become beneficiaries of Gou?  Time will tell.

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