You also need a good family and friends. Develop relationships with people because we aren’t exactly a pack animal but a tribe. We can’t survive by ourselves; we have to connect with others. In order to make a good connection, you have to give a little and try to understand and appreciate the other person’s viewpoint.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Robert L. Hoover.

Robert L. Hoover is a native Californian and graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law. He began practicing law in 1960 and has steadily grown his practice into the largest Northern California firm exclusively focused on Family Law. Mr. Hoover has served in the military as an Air Force Instructor, has been employed as a Deputy Sheriff, and has been instrumental in establishing Family Law as a unique and important area of law practice. His efforts in working with the legal community resulted in the Judge Pro-Tem system that is a fundamental part of the Santa Clara County Court system today. Mr. Hoover lectures extensively and has been profiled in several national publications. He has been a trusted attorney to hundreds of C-level executives in Silicon Valley and has successfully handled many high-profile, hundred-million dollar divorce cases.

Mr. Hoover has completed 18 marathons and two ultra-marathons. He has bicycled from Canada to Mexico and is an international kayaker. He has been a technical mountain climber for many years and recently completed the Kalalau Trail, one of the world’s most difficult, breathtaking and beautiful hiking adventures. Mr. Hoover is an avid reader and enjoys keeping current in all national and international events. He enjoys traveling the globe with his family, friends and his lovely wife, Gale.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

First of all, I just want to say that I appreciate being asked this question because 1931 to the present time is an extremely important period. I can say that having lived a long, productive, and happy life.

I was born in 1931, at the height of the depression. I lived the first year of my life at an apple orchard in Watsonville. The only work obtained during that time was in the fields and apple orchard owners encouraged the whole family to live on the land, so children and women could pick apples. Gradually, as time went on, approximately 1933, the prohibition of alcohol was overturned and alcohol became very popular. You could buy a half gallon of wine for 10 cents. As a result of this, both my parents became alcoholics and died, five weeks apart. At the age of 14, I became responsible for myself. I got a job doing laborious kinds of work, like cleaning and pumping gas stations, through the end of my senior year in high school. Upon high school graduation, the Korean War started in June of 1950, and I was going to be drafted on January 1st 1951. November 21st was when I officially enlisted in the United States Air Force. As a result of that, I benefited from the GI bill, attending programs and taking extension courses. During that time, I took extension courses from the University of Mississippi and Southern College.

I intentionally skipped two years of college while I was in service, so after service, I went to a junior college, San Jose State University, and University of Santa Clara Law School. I completed my college on the GI bill and without any debts.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

One of the most interesting aspects from my career in law is the early realization that you don’t have to be tremendously brilliant or gifted to be able to practice. All you need is honesty and a commitment to making an effort to do the right thing. If you can identify with the litigants, they can identify with you. You are a team working together toward a positive resolution for your endeavors.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

She was a principal and teacher of the 5th — 8th grades at a two-room school house in Ophir, California. Her name was Elizabeth Pierce and she placed a school flag at half-staff when my parents passed away. When I came back to school for the second time after my last parent had died, she hugged me and told me that I was special, and I was destined to be a success someday. I believed her and have held on to that to this day.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Perseverance. I am and was left-handed yet in first grade I was forced to write with my right hand. I later became dyslexic, and to this day, I don’t know whether a J goes one way or the other. Years later, I was able to write using my left hand again, but it caused this switch. In my brain, I couldn’t speak and spent two years in the first grade. Although I repeated the seventh grade, that did not discourage me to continue to learn and grow.

Connection. You see, I experienced different struggles from having nothing to eat but potatoes, my parents passing away, and tying my left hand in the first grade. Ms. Pierce words were all that I had at the time, and I believed it. That connection was integral to my success.

Self-growth. During my high school years, I developed an interest in music and reading, and that has never stopped. I would suggest you read everything you can from 2 –3 newspapers a day to reading a good book each week. What reading and culture can do is build brain cells and expose us to different ideas and concepts because it takes marks on pieces of paper to give you information and inspiration.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I don’t think I am an authority, other than the fact that I survived to the age of 91. When you don’t have much, you have the tendency to focus more on the things that you do have. For me, it was the ability to be physical, and the easiest way to be physical is to run. As I ran more, I recognized the right kind of foods would help me be a better runner as well as gain better focus. You see, the clearer your mind is, the more you start focusing on those three things — health wellness, and longevity, which will help you later in life. When your mind is clear, you want to be more involved in things. If you succeed, you develop a certain amount of pride within yourself. Success in one area will lead you to success in other areas.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal

youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

I have traveled to different countries in Europe and Asia, and from those travels, I witnessed all sorts of interesting and different cultures. One interesting story is when I traveled to a village in India. They were so friendly and happy, yet they had nothing. The village had no water nor heat, and they took animal and human feces to burn in the stoves for warmth. You would see outside their huts the fecal matter packed into patties on the walls in the town. It would go as high as the house. But they were happy and accepting — I believe the feeling comes from their belief in reincarnation.

When you travel to many places, especially when you do it more than once, you learn something about their living habits, how they treat others, and how they treat religion. You truly learn what is important to them.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”?

You need a good education, starting very young.

You also need a good family and friends. Develop relationships with people because we aren’t exactly a pack animal but a tribe. We can’t survive by ourselves; we have to connect with others. In order to make a good connection, you have to give a little and try to understand and appreciate the other person’s viewpoint.

Going back to food, we are essentially like an automobile engine, and we can only produce and function with the fuel that is given to us. If you put bad fuel into an automobile, it is not going to work well and will, eventually, break. So, if we take bad food instead of good food or too much sugar and salt, it is not good for the machine and can break down. It can cause health problems down the road, like cancer, heart issues, or dementia, so the right kinds of foods are really important.

To have work-life balance. Find work that you enjoy doing and that is easy to maintain. The body and the brain are like machines. They have to rest and relax. You want to do something that allows the body to recuperate and so on.

The fifth one is to have a plan for the future, so you won’t be a burden on others and yourself. As you grow older, you worry about having enough money to survive and maintain necessary health.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning? Look at previous question.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

Originally, it was 50% nurture and 50% genetics that would provide a long life. However, as time goes on, I believe genetics only control about 20–25% while nurturing your life accounts for 80–75%. Much more important.

It starts at an early age, especially in grammar school. You learn how to take charge with yourself, turn in assignments, and take on additional work. When you develop that mindset, it carries you all the way through adulthood, and you begin to nurture yourself with education, relationships, and interests. If you don’t have that in the beginning, it creates a problem.

A very interesting study that you don’t hear much about is the marshmallow test. It involves putting one marshmallow before a 5-year-old child. They are then told to wait for five minutes. If they waited for a whole 5 minutes, they could have two marshmallows instead of one. What it comes down to is asking yourself, “are you only looking for enjoyment and instant gratification?”

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

There is a saying that I like — every day is not going to be a ten. There are going to be days that are fours or fives. But the idea is to not worry about the day not being a ten but cherish it and make the best of the fours and fives. If you look at the positive and don’t dwell on the fact that something isn’t working or you didn’t get a job or they have to lay you off, there is still some beauty in the day — friendship, family, good health, and various other reasonable options.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

My favorite quote is that “there is always an answer.” You are never ever in a position where there is no answer at all. There is always something that you can do. It may not be a great answer or even a good answer, but it is an answer that will get you by. When I was in grammar school, we grew vegetables because we didn’t have food. Because it was during the Depression, the grocer from town said that he would buy 10 cents a pound for everything that I grew, so I grew a lot of stuff. I was able to grow and sell enough to buy a bicycle for 75 cents with the money I earned. For me, that was my answer.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. ��

If I could do one thing, I would guarantee everyone an education to the extent that they would want it. In all the travels that I have made over the past 90 years, the thing that has really impressed me was the value of an education. I have visited countries where education was free, and those countries are listed to be the happiest countries — happier than ours.

Current statistics also show the difference of income if you have a college education versus a high school diploma. You can make 1.2M dollars more in your lifetime if you have a college education. If you have a graduate degree, it’s 1.6M. The government has received thousands in taxes over what they paid in free education and medical. As a result of the government giving me a legal education, I have paid back hundreds and thousands of dollars in extra taxes.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

You can read my book, My Story, and Hoover Krepelka, LLP’s home website and social media.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLCHe coaches cancer survivors and ambitious industry leaders to amplify their impact, attract media attention, and make their voice heard. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset.

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.