According to Forbes, the net worth of Evergreen’s Founder and Group Chairman, Chang Yung-fa, is in the range of $1.6 Billion, and he is listed number 782 among the world’s billionaires.
Born in Penghu, an island chain off the western coast of Taiwan in 1927, he entered the shipping business directly after high school in Taiwan and over the years he progressed through the ranks to that of Captain.
In 1968, he struck out on his own to establish Evergreen Shipping with a single secondhand 15,000 ton vessel, Central Trust. Over the next few years, his one ship quickly multiplied to a fleet of 12, and shortly thereafter, his now global, and rapidly growing fleet was calling on ports worldwide on a regular basis.
Employing over 27,000 employees and more than 220 offices/agents worldwide, the Evergreen Group now comprises about 30 major corporations worldwide, 3 of which are listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
In a report by Taipei Times today, Chang Yung-fa announced he would bequeath all the assets listed in his name to charities, and not his children, as a way of giving back to society and having his money perform good deeds long after his death.
During a tea party with reporters, Chang defined true wealth as being able to help people and give back to society.
“Money is something that should be circulated around the world and not enjoyed exclusively by one individual,” he said. “A lot of people think that earning a lot of money constitutes wealth. For me, working hard to earn a lot of money is certainly not a bad thing, but the happiness from earning a lot of money is fleeting because of the pain you feel when you lose it.”
“But if that money is used for good deeds, it’s wonderful to see people get back on their feet because of the help you’ve given. The happiness gained from doing a good deed always remains in your heart,” Mr. Chang said.
Chang also said that young people should depend less on their parents. They should fight for their future themselves and learn to shoulder responsibility.
Considering the tough economic times we are facing these days, his words are certainly appropriate. To read more about his philanthropic mission, please read the article from the Taipei Times.
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