The Shaw Prize was established under the auspices of Mr Run Run Shaw who passed away peacefully at home in Hong Kong in the company of his family on 7 January 2014, aged 107.
 
Mr Shaw, born in China in 1907, was a native of Ningbo County, Zhejiang Province. He joined his brother's film company in China in the 1920s. During the 1950s he founded the film company Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Limited in Hong Kong. He was one of the founding members of Television Broadcasts Limited launched in Hong Kong in 1967. Mr Shaw also founded two charities, The Sir Run Run Shaw Charitable Trust and The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, both dedicated to the promotion of education, scientific and technological research, medical and welfare services, and culture and the arts.