Kadoorie, Horace (CBE) 1902 - 1995

Sir Horace Kadoorie (1902–1995), businessman and philanthropist, was born on the 28th September 1902 in London as one of three sons of Sir Elly Kadoorie (1867–1944) and Laura Samuel (d. 1919). The Kadoories, a Sephardi Jewish family, emigrated originally from Baghdad to in Hong Kong in 1880. The family moved to England in 1910, but Sir Elly returned to Shanghai in 1911. Meanwhile, the youngest son having died in infancy, Lawrence and his brother Horace attended school at Ascham St Vincents, Eastbourne, and at Clifton College in Bristol. In 1914 they ventured to Banff, Canada, for a family reunion and when unable to return to England the boys continued on to Shanghai and its cathedral school.

During the 1920s and 1930s Horace Kadoorie looked after the family's interests in Shanghai and ran the family home Marble Hall, engaging in many charitable activities including establishing a school for the children of Jewish refugees who had reached the city in the late 1930s. Following Japan's entry into the Second World War he was interned. After the war he joined his brother in successfully rebuilding the Hong Kong businesses. He was a director of China Light and Power, but took a more active interest in the group's hotels.

Horace's great passion was philanthropy. It was said of the brothers that Lawrence made the money and Horace gave it away. He supported a range of charities in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Association and the RSPCA, and in South Africa and Israel. He was particularly closely involved in the Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Association, through which the brothers helped settle many Chinese refugees as smallholders in the New Territories, providing training at the Kadoorie Farm and giving each family a pair of chickens and a pair of piglets. Horace Kadoorie became known as ‘Mr New Territories’. He also provided similar training for Gurkha soldiers and financed livestock and horticultural projects in Nepal.

Horace Kadoorie was appointed CBE in 1976 and knighted in 1989 and received French, Belgian, and Nepalese honours. A connoisseur of antique Chinese ivory and bronze, he formed one of the finest private collections in the world, and published The Art of Ivory Sculpture in Cathay (1988). He retired from China Light and Power in 1992.

Suffering from Parkinson's disease, Horace Kadoorie died unmarried on the 22nd April 1995 in Hong Kong.