Soon-Shiong’s South African rootsSoon-Shiong was born in Port Elizabeth in 1952. His parents had fled China during World War Two. He finished high school at the age of 16 and became a doctor at the age of 23, finishing fourth out of 189 graduates at the University of the Witwatersrand. Soon-Shiong then moved to Vancouver, Canada to do his surgical residency at the University of British Columbia. In 1979 he earned a master’s degree in surgery.
A fortune through drug developmentIn 1991, Soon-Shiong invented the pancreatic cancer drug, Abraxane, which was a redesigned version of a top-selling cancer drug called Taxol.
He founded two drug companies in the United States, American Pharmaceutical Partners and Abraxis, which he sold for $9.1 billion.He then went on to build his NantWorks health empire.