Real Estate: The Achievement Addict

Last Dec. 31 a boyish-looking real estate developer in Phoenix. Ariz., solemnly wrote down his 1961 New Year's resolution: to make his company a $100 million enterprise within the next five years. Even in Phoenix, whose postwar building boom has been among the nation's liveliest, the resolution was somewhat audacious. But such audacity has made David Murdock, at 38, the biggest builder in Arizona.

Though he has been at it for less than a decade, Murdock has already pieced together real estate holdings worth more than $26 million. In the past two...

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