David H. Murdock
The NC Research Campus’ visionary and benefactor, David H. Murdock, is chairman, CEO and owner of Dole Food Company, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, and chairman, CEO and owner of Castle & Cooke, Inc., a private company.
Dole Food Company is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables as well as a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. Castle & Cooke’s business activities include operating entities involved in the development and ownership of real estate, leasing of transportation equipment and manufacture of building materials such as brick, ready mix and rock. His combined companies employ more than 28,000 people.
Mr. Murdock also owns various manufacturing and processing plants, office, retail and industrial projects throughout the world. Through Flexi-Van Leasing, he is the second largest lessor of chassis in the nation. In the United States, he has major master-planned residential communities under development in California, Hawaii, North Carolina and Arizona. He has been an active investor over the years and has taken 13 New York Stock Exchange Companies private. His investments have included most major industries including mining, railroads, oil and gas, textiles, agriculture and real estate. Along with Dole Foods and Castle & Cooke, he has had an ownership or major positions in a number of companies such Occidental Petroleum, Cannon Mills, Continental Can, International Mining, Pato Consolidated Gold, Pacific Holding Corp., Iowa Beef Corp and many others, including the purchase of the national right away real estate of the Chicago Rock Island Railroad.
Mr. Murdock is an advocate of eating healthy to live a longer, more vital life. His 2010 publishing endeavor produced The Dole Nutrition Handbook, What to Eat and How to Live For a Longer, Healthier Life, a compilation of science-based facts from leading scientific and nutrition experts on easily obtainable lifestyle, diet and exercise regimens. Previously, he organized the collaborative efforts of experts at the Mayo Clinic, University of California, Los Angeles and Dole Food Company, Inc. to write The Encyclopedia of Foods, A Guide to Healthy Nutrition, a 500-page book on a healthier lifestyle through improved nutrition, exercise and disease prevention.
He also developed and owns a wellness center built across the street from Dole’s worldwide headquarters in Westlake Village, California. The 769,600 square foot complex includes a Four Seasons Hotel, the California Health & Longevity Institute, a healthy lifestyle teaching center combined with medical facilities able to perform complete diagnostic services and a television production studio.
Additional developments include the NC Research Campus (NCRC) near Charlotte, a high-tech life science research center dedicated to the betterment of the world’s health and nutrition. Murdock’s development corrals the research and programs of leading academic circles with eight universities (including Duke, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill), biotech companies and private enterprise in superb facilities with unparalleled scientific equipment. Mr. Murdock has engaged Duke researchers to conduct the MURDOCK Study which is designed to use advanced technologies to identify genomic linkages within and across diseases and disorders, such as hepatitis C., cardiovascular disease, obesity and osteoarthritis. The study’s goal is to improve the way debilitating diseases are predicted and treated, and lead to changes in medical practice, healthier populations and a textbook of medicine that reflects scientific and clinical advances of the 21st century.
The David H. Murdock Research Institute, which is located in the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, opened in 2008 and anchors the campus with its 311,000 square feet of lab space that is accessible to campus partners. Upon completion, the 350-acre, NCRC campus will include a new comprehensive mixed-used environment with one million square feet of office and lab space, a city center and 350,000 square feet of retail space, townhomes, apartments and parks.
Mr. Murdock has been a Regent’s Professor of Creativity in Business at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Science degree from North Carolina State University; an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Pepperdine University; and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Hawaii Loa College. His hobbies include reading, the arts, poetry and horticulture. He is a breeder of prized Arabian horses, has an orchid collection consisting of more than 30,000 plants and is an avid art and antique furniture collector. He resides in California with residences in New York, Kannapolis, North Carolina and Lana’i, Hawaii. He has a son who is active in the family businesses.