David H. Murdock
|David H. Murdock|
|Born||David Howard Murdock
April 11, 1923
|Occupation||--Chairman and CEO of Dole Food Company
--Founder of the California Health and Longevity Institute (CHLI)
--Owner of Castle & Cooke
--Owner of Pacific Clay
|Net worth||US$ 2.4 billion (Sept. 2013)|
Gabriele Murdock (m. 1967–85) (widowed)
|Children||Eugene Murdock (deceased)
David Murdock Jr. (deceased)
David Howard Murdock (born April 11, 1923) is an American businessman and philanthropist.
Murdock was born on April 11, 1923. His father was a traveling salesman, while his mother took up laundry and scrubbed floors to make ends meet. He is the middle child of three; he had two sisters. He was particularly close to his mother, who died at 42 from cancer. He grew up in Montgomery Township, Ohio and dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. He was drafted by the United States Army in 1943 during World War II.
After relocating to Detroit after the war, Murdock was homeless and destitute. Due to a chance encounter with a good samaritan, however, he got a $1,200 loan to buy a closing diner, flipping it for a $700 profit ten months later.
He moved to Arizona and began working there first in housing and then commercial real estate. When the real estate market collapsed in the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles where he continued developing real estate opportunities, leading to a string of acquisitions.
In 1978 he acquired control of International Mining. In early 1980s he became the largest shareholder in Occidental Petroleum by selling the company his 18 percent interest in Iowa Beef.
In 1985 Murdock took over the nearly bankrupt Hawaiian firm Castle & Cooke, which owned pineapple and banana producer Dole Food Company. He developed Castle & Cooke's real estate portfolio into residential and commercial properties and turned Dole into the world's largest producer of fruits and vegetables. Acquiring Dole privately in 2003, Murdock completed a $446 million initial public offering in October 2009 and the company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker DOLE until a private merger agreement was approved October 31, 2013.
More recently, he has helped contribute to the redevelopment of a 5,800,000-square-foot (540,000 m2) complex in Kannapolis, North Carolina of a biotechnology research center, the North Carolina Research Campus. The research center is a joint public-private venture, involving major North Carolina universities and private investment. The site of the research center in the middle of Kannapolis was formerly occupied by Plant #1 of Cannon Mills (which became Pillowtex after a series of mergers and acquisitions). Pillowtex filed for bankruptcy in 2003, and closed the mill. This resulted in the largest mass layoff of workers in North Carolina history. Murdock acquired the site and demolished the mill in 2006.
After the death of his third wife, Gabriele, he has been involved to finding a cure for cancer, advancing nutrition, and life extension. He established the Dole Nutrition Institute to advocate the benefits of a plant-based diet to promote health and prevent disease. With the help of UCLA, he oversaw the writing of the "Encyclopedia of Foods, A Guide to Healthy Nutrition." In 2006, he opened the California Health and Longevity Institute (CHLI).
He has been married five times. He married his third wife, Gabriele, in 1967. He had two children with Gabriele. When he married Gabriele, he also adopted her son from a previous marriage, Eugene, making a total of three children. Gabriele was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1983 and died in 1985. A year later, Eugene died after hitting his head while swimming in the family estate's swimming pool. In 2004, Justin Murdock became his only surviving child, after another son, David Murdock Jr., died in an auto accident on the Santa Monica Freeway. Justin Murdock currently serves as CEO and Executive Chairman on the Board of NovaRx and is Senior Vice President of Investments for Castle & Cooke. Previously, he served on the board of Directors at the Dole Food Company, as well as their audit and finance committee up until his retirement on May 17, 2013.
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- "Gabriele Murdock, Wife of Financier, Is Dead at Age 43". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Gabriele Murdock, 43, ActiveIn Several Art Organizations". New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Talevich, Tim (2009 Vol 24 #1). Mister Murdock's Mission: Promoting Nutrition for Better Living. The Costco Connection.