Run Run Shaw

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Sir Run Run Shaw

Sir Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫) GBM CBE was a pioneering Hong Kong movie producer and philanthropist. He founded the Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), a world leader in the Chinese-language television industry and the well-known Shaw Brothers movie studio, once among the world's largest. He was regarded as the godfather of Kung Fu film-making and one of the most influential figures in Asia's entertainment industry.

Life & Career

Run Run Shaw was the youngest of the six sons of the Shaw family.

Shaw was born Shao Ren Leng in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in 1907 to a wealthy Shanghai textile merchant. He had been involved in the film industry in Shanghai and Singapore since age 19.

Run Run Shaw and his elder brother Runme Shaw founded a film production company first in Shanghai in 1924, then established a movie distribution base in Singapore where they founded the precursor to the parent company Shaw Organization.

In December 1958, the Shaw brothers founded the Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd., which was the foremost and the largest movie production company of Hong Kong movies.

Over the years, Shaw Brothers produced some 1,000 movies and it has contributed enormously to the Hong Kong martial-arts film industry. Its well-known productions include "One-Armed Swordsman" (1967), "Five Fingers of Death" (1972) and "Five Deadly Venoms" (1978).

Shaw co-founded the TVB empire in November 1967, turning it into a multi-billion dollar TV empire that today ranks as one of the top five television producers in the world.

Run Run Shaw receives a birthday present of a golden peach on his 93rd birthday in 2001.

In the 1970s, with the success of the martial arts film genre, Shaw Brothers began to co-produce films with Western producers for the international market, as well as investing in films such as "Meteor" and "Blade Runner."

Film production was suspended in May 1987 in order to concentrate on the television industry through its subsidiary TVB.

Shaw retired at age of 104, and was honored as the Honorable Chairman of TVB. He is the CEO with the longest-term of service in the world to date.

He died at his residence on Jan. 7, 2014 at 6:55am (HKT) at the age of 107, peacefully with his family by his side.

Charity efforts

A Shaw building in the University of Hong Kong

The film and television tycoon was also a generous philanthropist, financing more than 6,000 projects and schools across Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Many universities have buildings named after him. By 2012, he had donated a total of HK$4.75 billion to mainland education. He donated HK$100 million for disaster relief after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Shaw also made massive donations in Britain, the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong, totaling more than three billion yuan (US$487.8 million). Shaw's philanthropic acts earned him the title "Top Educational Philanthropist in the World."


In 1974, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), making him the first in the Hong Kong entertainment industry to receive the honor.

He went on to receive a knighthood in 1977, as well as the Grand Bauhinia Medal (GBM) from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government in 1998.

In 2013, Sir Shaw received the BAFTA Special Award for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

The Shaw Prize

Run Run Shaw (R) and Chen-Ning Franklin Yang

Shaw set up an international award, the Shaw Prize, for scientists across three areas of research, namely astronomy, mathematics, and life and medical science. The prize money accompanying the award goes up to US$1 million. The press called it the "Nobel Prize of the East." The first prize was awarded in 2004.