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Billionaires Vow to Fight Death

We still can't stop the brute fact of death, but that isn't stopping five billionaires who are trying to lead the human race out of mortality. First, there's billionaire Peter Thiel, who has "invested heavily" in organizations like the SENS Foundation, which is devoted to developing "rejuvenation biotechnologies," although nothing's panned out yet.

Then there's William Andregg, the founder of a Silicon Valley nanotechnology start-up called Halcyon Molecular, who claims that he plans to live for "millions, billions, hundreds of billions of years." Halcyon Molecular quietly went out of business last summer.

Then there's Russian transhumanist multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov who launched the 2045 Initiative, and offers the promise that humans be immortal by the year 2045 … just as soon as we "make a leap into artificial, machine bodies."

But the billionaire who brings the most fiery passion to the cause, by far, is Larry Ellison, who "gives out more than $40 million" to the Ellison Medical Foundation to understand "lifespan development processes." According to Forbes magazine, Ellison's net worth is $43 billion. Recently Ellison said, "Death makes me very angry. It doesn't make any sense to me. Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?"

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