"I want everyone to understand the importance of the Institute... We’ve opened the door to research that will help everyone lead longer, healthier lives."
— David H. Murdock
Mr. David H. Murdock is chairman of Dole Food Company, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, and Castle & Cooke, Inc. Dole Food Company, Inc. is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. Castle & Cooke’s business activities include the development and ownership of real estate, leasing of transportation equipment, and the manufacturing of brick. His combined companies employ more than 68,000 people in over 90 countries and rank as one of the largest privately held entities in America.
Mr. Murdock’s vast land holdings perpetuate development and ownership of manufacturing and processing plants, office, retail, hotel, resorts, and industrial projects throughout the world. Through FlexiVan Leasing, he is one of the nation’s leading lessors of chassis. In the United States, he has developed major master-planned residential communities in California, Florida, Hawaii (Hawaii’s largest homebuilder), and Arizona.
Mr. Murdock is an advocate of eating healthy to live a longer, more vital life. He organized the collaborative efforts of medical and nutrition experts at Mayo Clinic, University of California, Los Angeles, and Dole Food Company, Inc. in the writing of The Encyclopedia of Food, A Guide to Healthy Nutrition. This 500-page book is the definitive guide to a healthier lifestyle through improved nutrition, exercise, and disease prevention. His 2010 publishing endeavor produced The Dole Nutrition Handbook, What to Eat and How to Live For a Longer, Healthier Life, which is a compilation of science-based facts from leading scientific and nutrition experts on easily obtainable lifestyle, diet and exercise regimens.
Mr. Murdock established the Dole Nutrition Institute to “Feed the World with Knowledge.” The Institute focuses on education and research regarding the potential of a plant-based diet to promote health and prevent disease. In July 2006, he opened a wellness complex adjacent to the Dole worldwide headquarters in Westlake Village, California. The complex features a Four Seasons Hotel & Spa and houses the California Wellbeing Institute, which includes a healthy lifestyle teaching center, medical facilities with complete diagnostic capabilities, and a television production studio.
Mr. Murdock is active in civic affairs and very supportive of educational, medical, and cultural programs, particularly within the communities in which he lives and works. One such program is Casa de Esperanza in Ventura County, California — a 45-unit transitional housing project for the mentally disordered that Mr. Murdock dedicated and donated to Ventura County upon its completion.
Mr. Murdock has been a Regent’s professor of creativity in business at UCLA’s Andersen Graduate School of Management. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Pepperdine University and 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 more than 200 prized Arabian horses, has an orchid collection consisting of more than 16,500 plants, and is an avid art and antique furniture collector. Mr. Murdock resides in California and also has residences in New York, Kannapolis, North Carolina, and Lanai, Hawaii. He has a son who is active with Castle & Cooke, Inc.