Michael Milken, a survivor of prostate cancer, has devoted the latter part of his life to finding a cure for the deadly disease. The philanthropist, who founded the Milken Institute, also works closely with the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force under Vice President Biden.
Milken’s commitment to medicine followed his prison sentence for securities fraud in 1989 when the world knew him only as “The Junk Bond King.” Last week, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested Milken may be considered for a pardon under incoming President-elect Trump’s administration.
“I believe Milken is an excellent candidate for a pardon,” Giuliani said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“That’s based on the good works that he’s done after his conviction. This is a case of a guy who learned his lesson and has really helped society,” Giuliani told Hannity.
Despite Giuliani’s comments, Milken said he remains focused on his mission and collaboration with White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force Executive Director Greg Simon. The two discussed the progress in the fight against cancer with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
“Well, as the Vice President likes to say, when we started the war on cancer in ’71, we had no army, we had no strategy, we had no weapons. Today we’ve got millions of patients who we’ve studied, we’ve got thousands of scientists and we have a strategy on using big data in computing and the sharing of medical information to create a ubiquitous, seamless system like the markets,” said Simon.
Fighting cancer is also good business and good for the economy, noted Milken.
“More than 50% of all economic growth has come from public health and medical research. The greatest achievement that has ever occurred in civilization has been the extension of life.”
As a cancer survivor, Milken knows that lesson all too well.
“I think, when you think about an individual like myself who 23 years ago was told he had 12 to 18 months to live with cancer, I have been blessed with many pardons OK, a solution to my life-threatening cancer. Today, Lori and I have nine grandchildren and one on the way. So there’s a lot of joys in life. But the joy that I’m really going to enjoy is when we eliminate cancer as a cause of death and suffering,” he said.