People - AUGUST 23, 2019

Conservative billionaire David Koch passes away

by Andrea Zander

Conservative billionaire David Koch has passed away. He was 79.

Details of his death are not yet known; however, Koch retired from Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest privately held conglomerates, and the Koch political operations in 2018, citing health reasons. Sources close to the family told CNN he had been in declining health in recent weeks.

A statement from the company and his brother Charles Koch, noted: "It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David. Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life. Twenty-seven years ago, David was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given a grim prognosis of a few years to live. David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay. We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.”

According to Forbes, Koch was the 11th richest man in the world with a net worth of some $42 billion.

Koch, an engineer trained at MIT, joined Koch Industries in 1970, and served on its board. He also served as chief executive officer of Koch Chemical Technology Group, a Koch subsidiary.

His father, Fred Koch, founded the company in 1940. Koch Industries’ investments include subsidiaries involved with manufacturing, refining and distribution of chemicals, fibers and minerals.

Koch had a large impact on public policy as a co-founder of Americans for Prosperity. In addition, he was philanthropist. Koch’s philanthropy donated to arts causes such as New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; hospitals such as Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital; and museums including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. He donated more than $1.2 billion to causes over the course of his life, reported Fox News.

And the final tweet on his Twitter account announced in February his family made a $1 million donation to the Sept. 11 Memorial Museum, reported CNBC.

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