Feature

The billionaire who wants to outlive you

David Murdock has built a massive research campus in North Carolina to explore his conviction that the key to longer life is a low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and antioxidants. 

David Murdock is certain he can live to 125,  said Frank Bruni in The New York Times Magazine. The 87-year-old billionaire is spending a fortune in hopes of extending the human life span—his own in particular. He’s already in perfect health. “I never have anything go wrong,” says Murdock. “Never had a backache. Never had a headache. Never had anything else.” Thus far, he’s spent $500 million building a massive research campus in North Carolina to explore his conviction that the key to longer life is a low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and antioxidants.

Three times a day, he drinks smoothies consisting of ground up orange rinds and banana peels to ensure a steady supply of fiber, and his meals mainly consist of seafood, egg whites, and nuts. When he sees butter at a restaurant, he kindly instructs the server to “take the death off the table.” His quest was inspired by the death of his third wife, Gabriele, whom he lost to ovarian cancer after 18 years of marriage, in 1985. He believes her diet and other lifestyle habits caused her illness. “If I had known what I know today, I could have saved my wife’s life.” Though quick to proselytize about the benefits of eating well, he doesn’t mind if you don’t listen. “That’s okay,’’ he says. “You’ll go before me.”

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