Aw Boon Haw, OBE (1882 Burma – 1954 Hong Kong) was a Burmese Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for introducing Tiger Balm.

Aw migrated to Singapore in 1926, where he began the business of Tiger Red Balm with his brother, Aw Boon Par. Aw also founded several newspapers, including Sin Chew Jit Poh (星洲日報) and Guang Ming Daily (光明日報), which are both based in Malaysia today. Sing Tao Daily (星島日報) dates back to 1938 and is currently based in Hong Kong.

While on a trip to Hong Kong from Boston in 1954, Aw died at the age of 72 from a heart attack following a major operation. His legacy is found in the Haw Par Villas throughout Asia, with locations in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Fujian Province.

Early on, Eng Aun Tong—the parent company that produced and marketed Tiger Balm—took on philanthropic works. The Aw brothers gave away more than half of their companies’ income each year. Aw Boon Haw built hospitals, schools, and provided care for the elderly from the late 1920s until his death in 1954. His projects included: hospitals, colleges, and more than 300 primary schools in mainland China and Southeast Asia.

Causes Supported:
Education, Care for the Elderly, Health Care, Chinese Cultural Projects

Source of Information:
Aw Boon Haw Foundation

Photo Credit:
Kaufmann Mercantile