"His latest dish is Wakaya Perfection, a ginger powder made from roots grown on his 2,220-acre island in Fiji, once owned by Gilmour’s hotel chain. While careful to avoid any over-the-top medicinal claims, Gilmour says he puts the powder on lots of his food, dissolves it in drinks, bathes in it and rubs it on his face and sore muscles...
"After college he sold pots and pans door-to-door, offering to cook meals for families to show off his wares. Next, he worked at Dansk Design, importing the modern Scandinavian home furnishings he’d fallen in love with on his travels. That’s when he met Munk, a young electrical engineer who chatted up Gilmour’s date at a Toronto restaurant–and launched a friendship and various partnerships that have spanned 55 years.
"In 1958 they started Clairtone, which made hi-fi systems that looked more like furniture than stereos. Munk, a Hungarian immigrant, built the electronic guts, while Gilmour designed the handsome wood exteriors. Soon their $500 Clairtone systems were in the living rooms of the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Hugh Hefner. After taking Clairtone public in 1962, they partnered with the Canadian government, which, in a well-intentioned but fatal move to create jobs, moved manufacturing to Nova Scotia. Five years later Clairtone was shuttered.
"Broke but not broken, Munk and Gilmour cofounded South Pacific Hotels in 1969, riding an updraft in international air travel. They found investors, bought plots and opened resorts–using cash flow to buy more land. By the time they sold out for roughly $150 million in 1980, they’d amassed 56 properties.
"Gilmour and Munk plowed their winnings into a mine in northern Ontario that became Barrick Gold. It was 1979, and gold prices, fanned by inflation, more than doubled. While Munk worked the numbers, Gilmour persuaded small independent miners to sell. Today, with a market cap of $32.5 billion, Barrick is the world’s largest gold miner–and Gilmour’s biggest moneymaker. "