Edison Miyawaki is an American physician, entrepreneur, and sports fanatic. He has been involved in a variety of ventures over his 37-year career, but the one that has had the greatest impact is his work in education and philanthropy. For over 30 years, he has been opening doors for Hawaii student-athletes. In fact, he’s one of the only Japanese Americans to own a professional sports team.
When it comes to philanthropy, the number of projects he’s a part of may surprise you. Not only is he part owner of the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL, but he also owns a piece of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association, as well as a share in the Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball. Other philanthropic endeavors include a hefty donation to Harvard Medical School in order to establish an Overseas Board, as well as a scholarship program to help young Hawaii students get a head start on their college careers.
Among his more notable achievements, it’s hard to forget the accomplishment of being the first Japanese American to own a franchise in the NFL. In fact, Miyawaki was the driving force behind the establishment of an NFL training camp in Hawai’i, which continues to this day.
As for philanthropy, he’s been a driving force behind numerous noteworthy achievements, including a major education-centered capital project and a funky gimmick – the Miyawaki Scholarship – which allows Hawaii kids to pursue their higher education dreams. It also entails being on several boards, such as the East-West Center and the Salvation Army. His work with the Pro Bowl has also been important, as he’s helped to keep the big game in Hawai’i for many years.
The best part of his life was seeing the fruits of his labors through the eyes of his son, Dr. Edison K. Miyawaki, Jr., who attended Chaminade University of Honolulu. Today, he serves as president and CEO of the family’s health care empire, Family Health I and II. Currently, the company operates three skilled nursing facilities in Honolulu.
He was also responsible for the creation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Gala, which raised a humongous sum of money in recent years for the university. Aside from the money itself, it’s also a great opportunity for the university to raise awareness about its stellar athletics program. Moreover, the event demonstrates the flurry of activity that has taken place in the past few years as the university aspires to become a world-class athletics powerhouse.