Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# David Murdock

Random fact: Could do 50 push-ups without a break as an 85 year old.

Overview

Murdock owns Dole Food, a closely held fresh fruit and vegetable producer. The Westlake Village, California-based business had revenue of $4.5 billion in 2016. The billionaire also owns closely held Castle & Cooke, which controls real estate, truck chassis lessor Flexi-Van and golf courses in Arizona, California and North Carolina.

As of April 21, 2018:
Last change ()
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Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 94
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Murdock's net worth of can buy ...

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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

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Biography

Birthdate: 4/10/1923
Family: Divorced, 3 children
Education:

David H. Murdock was born on April 10, 1923 and grew up in Wayne, Ohio with his two sisters, according to a 2011 New York Times Magazine profile. The middle son of a travelling salesman, he dropped out of high school three years before his mother died from cancer when he was 17. Dyslexic, he served in the U.S. army until he was 22 and was homeless in Detroit when a man decided to help him buy his first diner, according to the 2011 article.

He developed property in Phoenix for 17 years before moving to California, buying land, office buildings, stocks and companies. He married his third wife Gabriele Bryant in 1967, adopted her son and had two boys.

He acquired Castle & Cooke, owner of Dole, in 1985. He turned Dole into the world's largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables. He privatized Dole in 2003, listed it on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009 and acquired it for $1.21 billion, turning it private again, in August 2013. Two years later, he, along with Dole's former president, was ordered to pay $148 million over allegations they drove down the value of the company so Murdock could take it private on the cheap, according to Bloomberg. He sold a 45 percent equity stake in Dole Foods for $300 million to Total Produce in February 2018.

Other Castle & Cooke holdings included residential communities, resorts, and land, including 98 percent of Lana'i, the sixth largest island in Hawaii, which Murdock sold to Larry Ellison in June 2012.

Gabriele's death from ovarian cancer in 1985 fueled his investigation into healthy living. Since then he has been involved in improving nutrition, promoting health and preventing diseases through a fish-vegetarian diet that he hopes will see him live to 125 years old, according to the New York Times Magazine. He founded the Dole Nutrition Institute in 2003, facilitated the 2005 establishment of the North Carolina Research Campus and created the California Health and Longevity Institute in 2006.

The billionaire collects koi fishes, Arabian horses and orchids and lives in Los Angeles. His youngest son Justin is the CEO of NovaRx and senior vice-president of Castle & Cooke. Murdock's eldest son Eugene died in 1986, while middle son David died in a 2004 car accident.

Milestones
  • 1923 David H. Murdock is born.
  • 1985 Takes over Dole.
  • 1986 First son Eugene drowns.
  • 2003 Privatizes Dole Food.
  • 2004 Second son David Murdock Jr. dies in a car accident.
  • 2009 Lists Dole on the NYSE.
  • 2013 Acquires Dole Food for $1.21 billion.
  • 2015 Agreed to pay $100 million over allegations he drove down Dole's value.
  • 2018 Sells 45 percent stake in Dole for $300 million.