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Martine Rothblatt

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Title: Martine Rothblatt  
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Subject: Sirius XM Holdings, United Therapeutics, Transhumanists, List of JD-MBAs, Democratic transhumanism
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Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt
Martine Rothblatt in 2010.
Born Martin Rothblatt
1954 (age 60–61)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Satellite Beach, Florida[1]
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.)
UCLA School of Law (J.D., 1981)
UCLA Anderson School of Management (M.B.A., 1981)
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (Ph.D, 2001)
Occupation Chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics
Religion Terasem Movement Transreligion
Spouse(s) Bina Aspen (m. 1982)[2][3][4]
Children 4

Martine Aliana Rothblatt (born 1954 as Martin Rothblatt) is an American lawyer, author, and entrepreneur. Rothblatt graduated from UCLA with a combined law and MBA degree in 1981, then began work in Washington, D.C., first in the field of communication satellite law, and eventually in life sciences projects like the Human Genome Project. She is the founder and CEO of United Therapeutics Corp. and the highest-paid female executive in the United States.[5] She is also the creator of GeoStar and Sirius Radio.[6]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Social activism 3.1
    • Media appearances 3.2
  • Critical reception 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • Filmography 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life and education

Rothblatt was born in Chicago, Illinois, to observant Jews Rosa Lee and Hal Rothblatt, a dentist, and raised in a suburb of San Diego, California.[7][8]

Rothblatt left college after two years and traveled throughout Europe, Turkey, Iran, Kenya and the Seychelles. It was at the NASA tracking station in the Seychelles, during the summer of 1974, that she had her epiphany to unite the world via satellite communications. She then returned to UCLA, graduating summa cum laude in communication studies with a thesis on international direct broadcast satellites.

As an undergraduate, she became a convert to Gerard K. O'Neill's "High Frontier" plan for space colonization after analyzing his 1975 Physics Today cover story on the concept as a project for Professor Harland Epps' Topics in Modern Astronomy seminar. Rothblatt subsequently became an active member of the L-5 Society and its Southern California affiliate, OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement).

During her four year law-MBA program, also at UCLA, she published five articles on the law of satellite communications and prepared a business plan for the Hughes Space and Communications Group titled PanAmSat about how satellite spot beam technology could be used to provide communication service to multiple Latin American countries. She also became a regular contributor on legal aspects of space colonization to the OASIS newsletter.


Upon graduating from UCLA in 1981 with a joint MBA/JD degree, Rothblatt was hired by the Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington & Burling to represent the television broadcasting industry before the Federal Communications Commission in the areas of direct broadcast satellites and spread spectrum communication. In 1982, she left to study astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park, but was soon retained by NASA to obtain FCC approval for the IEEE c-band system on its tracking and data relay satellites and by the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Radio Frequencies to safeguard before the FCC radio astronomy quiet bands used for deep space research. Later that year she was also retained by Gerard K. O'Neill to handle business and regulatory matters for his newly invented satellite navigation technology, known as the Geostar System.

Rothblatt is a regulatory attorney.[9]

In 1984, she was retained by Rene Anselmo, founder of Spanish International Network, to implement her PanAmSat MBA thesis as a new company that would compete with the global telecommunications satellite monopoly, Intelsat. In 1986, she discontinued her astronomy studies and consulting work to become the full-time CEO of Geostar Corporation, under William E. Simon as Chairman. She left Geostar in 1990 to create both WorldSpace and Sirius Satellite Radio. She left Sirius in 1992 and WorldSpace in 1997 to become the full-time Chairwoman and CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation.[10]

Rothblatt is responsible for launching several communications satellite companies, including the first nationwide vehicle location system (Geostar, 1983), the first private international spacecom project (PanAmSat, 1984), the first global satellite radio network (WorldSpace, 1990), and the first non-geostationary satellite-to-car broadcasting system (Sirius Satellite Radio, 1990).

As an attorney-entrepreneur, Rothblatt was also responsible for leading the efforts to obtain worldwide approval, via new international treaties, of satellite orbit/spectrum allocations for space-based navigation services (1987) and for direct-to-person satellite radio transmissions (1992). She also led the International Bar Association's biopolitical project to develop a draft Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights for the United Nations (whose final version was adopted by the UNESCO on 11 November 1997, and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1998).

In the late 1990s, motivated by her daughter being diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension, Rothblatt entered the world of the life sciences by first creating the PPH Cure Foundation and later by founding a medical biotechnology company (United Therapeutics, 1996).[10] At that time she also began studying for a Ph.D. in medical ethics at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. The degree was granted in June 2001 based upon her dissertation on the conflict between private and public interests in xenotransplantation. This thesis, defended before England's leading bioethicist John Harris, was later published by Ashgate House under the title Your Life or Mine.

In 2013, Rothblatt was the highest-paid female CEO in America, earning $38 million.[11]

Personal life

Martine Rothblatt with Bina receiving 2010 Vicki Sexual Freedom Award

In 1982, Rothblatt married Bina Aspen, a realtor from Compton, California.[12][13][3][4][14] They have four children together. Prior to meeting Bina, Rothblatt had a child with a Kenyan woman. They legally adopted one another's children.[15][16]

In 1994, at age 40, she underwent sex reassignment surgery[17] and changed her name to Martine Aliana Rothblatt. She has since become a vocal advocate of transgenderism.[18]

Social activism

In 2004, Rothblatt launched the Terasem Movement, a charitable foundation, leaders of this school convene publicly accessible symposia, publish explanatory analyses, conduct demonstration projects, issue grants, and encourage public awareness and adherence to Terasem values and goals. The movement maintains a "Terasem Island" on the Internet-based virtual world Second Life, which is currently composed of two sims, which was constructed by the E-Spaces company.

Through her blog Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones, she writes about “the coming age of our own cyberconsciousness and techno-immortality“ and started a vlog together with Ulrike Reinhard on the same topic.

Rothblatt contributed $258,000 to Space PAC, a super PAC that supported her son, Gabriel, who was running as a Democrat in Florida's 8th congressional district[19] but lost.[20] Gabriel is a pastor for the Terasem Movement; he was previously a pizza store manager.[21][22][23][24]

Media appearances

On December 14, 2006, on The Howard Stern Show, Stern mentioned meeting Martine Rothblatt and referred to her as “the Martine Luther Queen of radio”. (Rothblatt is the creator, along with David Margolese and Robert Briskman, of Sirius, Howard Stern's employer.) On March 1, 2007, Howard Stern interviewed Rothblatt, her wife, and her daughter Jenesis on The Howard Stern Show.

Critical reception

In a 4 January 2008 blog post entitled Marketing Transhumanism, lawyer and bioethicist Wesley J. Smith ridiculed the feasibility of the Terasem Movement Foundation's claims to offer a free service that can "preserve one’s individual consciousness so that it remains viable for possible uploading with consciousness software into a cellular regenerated or bionanotechnological body by future medicine and technology". Smith facetiously questioned whether this offer would be followed by the sale of "longevity products".[25]

In a 16 August 2009 blog post entitled The “Imagination” of a Robot Cultist, rhetorician and technocritic Dale Carrico harshly criticized Rothblatt's writings for promoting what he argues to be the pseudoscience of mind uploading and the techno-utopianism of the Californian Ideology.[26] In a 28 February 2010 blog post entitled More Serious Futurology from Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt, Carrico criticized Rothblatt's claims about digital technology and "mindclones" as being nothing more than wishful thinking.[27] In a 5 June 2010 blog post entitled Rothblatt's Artificial Imbecillence, Carrico criticized Rothblatt for caring more about rights of "virtual, uploaded persons" — who he argues are neither real nor possible — more than the rights of actual human persons and some nonhuman persons, such as great apes and dolphins.[28]



Rothblatt is the executive producer of the following films:

See also


  1. ^ Scott Powers (August 18, 2014). "Democratic candidate Gabriel Rothblatt believes in technology and Terasem".  
  2. ^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Robert Hackett (September 12, 2014). "Highest-paid female executive seeks immortality—digitally".  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  8. ^ Martine Aliana Rothblatt (May 1997). "Unzipped Genes: Taking Charge of Baby-making in the New Millennium". pp. v. Retrieved November 22, 2014. To my parents Hal and Rosa Lee 
  9. ^ Mark Lewyn (September 1996). "Space Case".  
  10. ^ a b Herper, Matthew (April 22, 2010). "From Satellites To Pharmaceuticals". Forbes. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  13. ^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  14. ^
  15. ^ Lisa Miller (Sep 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  16. ^ Lisa Miller (Sep 7, 2014). "Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America. She Was Also Born Male.".  
  17. ^
  18. ^ Lewyn, Mark (Sep 2006). "Space Case".  
  19. ^ "The Custom-Made ‘Super PAC’". New York Times. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  20. ^ Ledyard King (November 4, 2014). "Bill Posey easily wins fourth term".  
  21. ^ Jessica Roy (April 17, 2014). "The Rapture of the Nerds".  
  22. ^ "The Terasem Faith religion that uses 'mindfiles' to store souls".  
  23. ^ Jessica Roy (April 17, 2014). "The Rapture of the Nerds".  
  24. ^ "On Politics: Innocent question creates a bit of a stir".  
  25. ^  
  26. ^  
  27. ^ Carrico, Dale (28 February 2010). "More Serious Futurology from Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt". Amor Mundi. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  28. ^ Carrico, Dale (5 June 2010). "Martine Rothblatt's Artificial Imbecillence". Amor Mundi. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 

External links

  • Lifeboat Foundation Bios: Martine Rothblatt
  • United Therapeutics
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