Charles B. Wang, the co-owner of the New York Islanders and a founder of CA Technologies, died on Oct. 21. He was 74.
Wang called Long Island his adopted home and choose to base CA on Long Island to serve as a major engine for its economy. In 2000, with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League facing an uncertain future, Wang was asked to purchase the team. He quickly agreed to do so, in recognition of the team's importance to Long Island, despite having previously attended only one hockey game. He was the majority owner until 2016, when he became a minority co-owner. He treasured his association with the team and its devoted fans on their journey toward the hoisting of the franchise's fifth Stanley Cup.
"We are heartbroken by the news of Charles Wang's passing,” said Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky. “New York Islanders's co-owners Dewey Shay, Scott Malkin and I were privileged to be selected by Charles to be his partners in the team. Charles loved the Islanders unconditionally. The arena at Belmont Park will be just one of his many legacies left to the team and to Long Island. His unique personality, his wonderful sense of humor and his extraordinary wisdom will be greatly missed."
"Charles Wang was a great man," Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello said. "He always spoke of his love for the Long Island community and the passionate fan base. Long Island would not have a team if it were not for Charles. Most importantly, we've all lost a great friend. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Nancy and children Kimberly, Jasmine, and Cameron."
Wang’s ownership of the team, along with his commitment to youth, led him to create Project Hope, an international program to develop ice hockey in China to lead the way for the growth of hockey outside North America. In 2016 the program was rolled out to more than ten northern provinces in China. The New York Islanders, in partnership with Project Hope, became the first NHL team to host an international youth hockey tournament, providing young athletes with the opportunity to play against teams from other countries, experience different cultures, and develop lasting friendships.
Wang became known as one of the most successful leaders in the technology field over the past four decades. Technology was not only the basis of Wang's business but also played an integral role in the success of his professional ventures. His two books, Technovision (1994) and Technovision II (1997), became leading guides for businesses seeking to parallel their organizational and technology goals.
He continued his commitment to technological advancement and has been instrumental in the development and growth of several technology companies in the United States and China, such as KyLinTV, Inc. and NeuLion, Inc. After NeuLion's merger with JumpTV, Inc. (TSX: JTV) in October 2008, Wang became the Chairman of the combined company, the leading provider of Internet Protocol Television solutions.
His success in the business world, as well as the sports world, has allowed him to support many important charitable foundations. Among those was the expansion of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City, which offers primary care, women's health, pediatrics, dental, health education and mental health services to the Chinatown and Flushing communities. He made a contribution to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to establish the Charles B. Wang International Children's Building, which serves as the organization's headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Wang's gift of more than $50 million to Stony Brook University to construct the Charles B. Wang Center was the largest private gift in the history of the State University of New York. The Center celebrates Asian and American cultures.
In addition, Wang's donation to Soochow University in Suzhou, China, established a new building to house the University's law school. In 2000, the University's law school was renamed The Kenneth Wang School of Law in honor of Wang's late father, who was a graduate of the University and law school.
Of all his philanthropic ventures, the one project that was most rewarding to Wang is Smile Train. Smile Train provides free surgery to children in developing countries around the world who suffer from cleft lip and palate. Mr. Wang was the founding member, Chairman of the Board and leading force behind the foundation. Through his efforts, Smile Train has become the leader in the eradication of cleft lip and palate in third world countries, where over 4.7 million children are affected and has provided free surgeries for more than one million children. Smile Train's efforts are documented in the film, Smile Pinki, which was the 2008 Academy Award Winner in the category of Best Documentary Short.