Haute 100 Los Angeles Update: David Murdock

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. David Murdock overrides a decision and allows a film to be made on his island in Hawaii.

David Murdock

Category: Billionaires

Company: Investment/Real Estate

Industry: Dole Food Co. Inc./Castle and Cook

What Made Him Haute: This high school dropout made a tidy fortune in the real estate industry, and then he bought portions of Dole Food Co. Inc. and Castle & Cook. The two combined companies result in one of the largest privately held entities in the United States, with 63,000 employees in more than 90 countries. Its portfolio includes development and ownership of real estate, leasing of transportation equipment, manufacture of brick and building materials, oil and gas holdings, aviation services and ownership of public warehouses. In Hawaii the company also owns a significant portion of the 90,000-acre island of Lana’i and two award-winning Four Seasons Hotels.

What Makes Him Haute Now: When the poet John Doone wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself,” he never imagined there would be a man like David Murdock. When Murdock purchased the Hawaiian firm Castle & Cook in 1985, he also received ownership of the Dole Food Co. and Lana’i, Hawaii’s sixth largest island. So after a local film commission denied Touchstone Pictures’ request to shoot The Tempest on Lana’i’s shores, Murdock, a fan of Shakespeare, overrode their decision. The movie, which comes out in December, will feature the island as the place to which the main characters are banished from their home in Milan. Yes, it’s his island and he’ll do what he wants to.

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