Sir Run Run Shaw, CBE
, was born Qiran in Zhenjiang, China
. After attending various merchant
schools, he moved into banking from 1937 to 1949, in which year he moved to Hong Kong
. There, he and several other businessmen set up a firm known as 'The Chinese Company' which acted as an import/export
agent and shipper using Hong Kong as its base of operations. In 1955, he switched to energy transport by founding The Global Company, Ltd. to ship coal
. After the Suez Canal
was recovered by Egypt
in 1956, the firm moved into oil tankers
as well. This left them in excellent position to capitalize
on the energy crunch
of the 1970s. Expanding their number of hull
s, the firm by 1981 controlled 210 ships with a shipping capacity of 21 million dwt
. At that point, it began to morph
into a financial holding company
, becoming involved again in banking, and in real estate and commerce in the port cities it served. Sir Run Run Shaw was the first Chairman.
In 1963, he was granted British citizenship for his work in Hong Kong, and in 1976 Queen Elizabeth II of Britain knighted him for service to the Empire (the 'CBE' following his name stands for (Knight) Commander of the British Empire). He was a man of great charity, donating enormous quantities of his wealth all over Asia. He strongly supported quality education], and many colleges and building in the Asian educational world bear his name in some form or another. He passed away from illness in 1991.
Most Americans of the current era may have been exposed to his name in the opening credits of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner; he was a major early financial backer of the project, and receives coequal credit for supporting it with the film company that is also named.