Known best as the C.E.O. of the Intrexon synthetic biotech company, this Virginia-based entrepreneur also became famous for founding such successful biomedical ventures as New River Pharmaceuticals and GIV (General Injectables and Vaccines).
After graduating from Radford University (Virginia) with a degree in economics, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. Before beginning his business career, he practiced law for over a decade.
A political independent, he donated nearly two million dollars to the campaigns of both Democratic and Republican candidates running for office in his home state of Virginia.
Born in Pleasanton, California, to an Air Force officer father, he spent the majority of his childhood in Dublin, Virginia. Before ending in divorce, his marriage produced four children.
He and Samuel Waksal both became chief executive officers of major pharmaceutical companies.