Business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. passes away at 93

    MANILA, Philippines – Business tycoon and philanthropist John Gokongwei Jr. passed away Saturday night, November 9. He was 93.

    Business tychoon John Gokongwei Jr. passes away at 93
    Rest in peace, Mr. John Gokongwei Jr.! Photo Credit: Facebook/ JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

    Gokongwei’s only son, Lance, confirmed the sad news in a text message sent to Esquire Philippines. "Our beloved husband, father and grandfather John Gokongwei, Jr. passed away peacefully 11:41 pm, November 9th, at the Manila Doctor's Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. Please pray for the repose of his soul. Details of his wake to follow. Rest In Peace, Mr. John."

    The third richest man in the Philippines according to Forbes Magazine had holdings in telecommunications, financial services, petrochemicals, power generation, aviation, food, beverage, and livestock farming.

    He is the founder of JG Summit, the parent firm of airline Cebu Pacific, food manufacturer Universal Robina Corporation, real estate company Robinsons Land, Robinsons Bank, JG Petrochemicals, and Global Business Power.

    The firm also have stakes in the telecommunications company PLDT and power distributor Meralco.

    Aside from acquiring wealth, Gokongwei was known for philanthropic works. In 2006, he donated P20 billion or half of his shares in the JG Summit Holdings to the family foundation.

    "Life has been good to me, and I want to give back the blessings I have received," he said.

    READ: Gokongwei recalls days he earned just Php20 as street vendor in inspiring speech

    He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth Yu, and his children Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith and Hope, and Marcia, his in-laws and grandchildren, brothers Eddie and James, the co-chairman of the company.

    Gokongwei children are currently taking control of the family business. Lance is the president and COO of the family's holding firm, JG Summit; Robina is CEO of Robinsons Retail, while Lisa is president of Summit Media.

    The business tycoon was born in China. He obtained his basic education at the University of San Carlos for primary school (graduating valedictorian) and high school.

    When the family fortune was lost after the death of his father, he supported his family by peddling items along the streets of Cebu from his bicycle, he was 13 years old at the time. From the age of 17 to 19, he traded using a wooden boat, taking items to Dalahican, Lucena by sea, and then to Manila by truck.

    — The Summit Express

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