A Profile of David Murdock

David Murdock is one of the few billionaires interested enough in human longevity to talk about it in public and work towards doing something about it. Unfortunately he is focused only on diet and thus will fail to achieve his own stated goal of living far longer than any man has ever done, and will fail to help anyone else to do the same. You can't eat your way to an extremely long life, no matter how good your diet might be. Most of the healthiest people die before reaching Murdock's advanced age of 90, and he is fortunate to have lived as long as he has. In a world of billions, random chance will deliver a small population of people who are very wealthy, interested in ineffective means of living longer, and who also, coincidentally, live for a long time.

Diet only affects your health - which is a good enough reason to try for a sensible diet and lifestyle. It isn't the key to extreme longevity, however. It remains the case that only way to enable people to reliably live far longer than they would otherwise have done is the development of new medical science focused on repairing the cellular and molecular causes of aging.

David Murdock, at age 90, has the look and energy of a man many years younger. The chairman of Dole Foods, the world's largest marketer of fruits and vegetables, has stated that he expects to live to 125, thanks to his lifestyle, diet and exercise regimen. In the early 1980s, about the same time Murdock bought a controlling interest in the conglomerate of which Dole was a part, his wife, Gabriele, was ill with advanced-stage ovarian cancer. The couple spent nearly two years traveling the world seeking information about potential cures. After Gabriele died in 1985, at age 43, Murdock stuck with many of the healthy lifestyle habits the couple discovered during their quest.

Murdock, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $2.4 billion, has also committed more than $500 million toward the creation of the North Carolina Research Campus and David H. Murdock Research Institute in Kannapolis, N.C. There, researchers from government, industry, non-profit groups and eight universities can take advantage of advanced technology and agricultural resources to collaborate on studies that explore the potential health benefits of plants in boosting longevity and warding off what the institute calls "lifestyle-related disorders," like diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. The campus also supports public campaigns to promote healthy choices.

Murdock's commitment to biotechnology research is admirable and a far better legacy than most high net worth individuals manage. The focus of this work will have next to no impact on human longevity, however.

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/06/07/90-year-old-billionaire-david-murdock-doles-out-advice-on-longevity/

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