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cryogenically frozen at 69
July 11, 2000
Web posted at: 3:53 PM EDT (1953 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- A futurist philosopher who legally changed his name to FM2030 because of his conviction that he would live to be at least 100 has died at 69.
Born F.M. Esfandiary in 1930, FM2030 arranged to have his body cryogenically frozen in the hope of being re-animated if and when doctors find a cure for pancreatic cancer -- the cause of his death Saturday.
His body was flown to Arizona for storage in a vat of liquid nitrogen.
FM2030 believed that one day synthetic body parts would make life expectancy irrelevant, and recently denounced the pancreas, for which no substitute has yet been made, as "a stupid, dumb, wretched organ."
A teacher, author and corporate consultant who lived in Miami, FM2030 was launched -- his word for born -- in Belgium to an Iranian diplomat. He lived in 17 countries by the time he was 11, fostering his self-proclaimed identity as a citizen of the universe.
He considered nationality an anachronism and often said, "There are no illegal immigrants, only irrelevant borders."
FM2030 stood out in a field littered with crackpots -- many of his predictions having proven uncannily prescient. In 1977, he anticipated the correction of genetic flaws and fertilization and gestation outside the body. In 1980, he wrote about teleconferencing, telemedicine and teleshopping.
A "chronic optimist," he envisioned a future of limitless energy and human immortality.
"I am a 21st-century person who was accidentally born into the 20th," he once said.
His books include "Optimism One," "Telespheres" and "Are You Transhuman?" He was revising his "Countdown to Immortality" when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Esfandiary taught futurist philosophy at UCLA, was a guest lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution and wrote opinion pieces for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
He spoke French, Arabic, Hebrew and English. Early in his career, from 1952 to 1954, he served as a member of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine.
Although he had competed on Iran's Olympic fencing team in 1948, Esfandiary came to abhor all competition, from the Olympics to the Academy Awards, as "a wasteful behavior."
His body is in a tank at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. The foundation, in a news release, said no frozen mammal has been successfully thawed.
FM-2030 in Cryostasis
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