Billionaire industrialist David Koch, a driving force behind conglomerate Koch Industries who as one of the world’s richest people became a major financier of conservative causes and political candidates, has died at age 79, his brother said on Friday.
Charles Koch, Koch Industries Inc’s chairman, disclosed the death in a statement that touched on his younger brother’s lengthy battle with prostate cancer and his philanthropic contributions to medical research, education and the arts.
“He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten,” Koch said in a statement addressed to employees. “David was proud of the extraordinary work you all have done to make Koch Industries the successful company that it is today.”
Koch, a philanthropist and patron of cultural and medical institutions, amassed his vast wealth with a large ownership stake in Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kansas-based company he ran with Charles.
With Charles as chairman and chief executive and David as executive vice president, Koch Industries – one of the world’s largest privately held businesses – aggressively expanded beyond the oil refining business their father created into an array of new ventures.
David Koch stepped down from the business and political activities in June 2018, citing declining health.
Progressives showed exactly who they are and what they are as they celebrated the death of the philanthropist.
— Voyage Around My Dad, Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) August 23, 2019
David Koch kicked the bucket?
HAPPY FRIDAY! pic.twitter.com/iRdHI2nyfv
— Toad Girl Summer🌹🔥 (@nyhcmaven84) August 23, 2019
David Koch wanted to abolish public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and rent control. He financed groups that denied the research on climate change. He funded the Tea Party. And he used dark money to support right-wing causes and Republican candidates for office. https://t.co/x08wiaOh9p
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 23, 2019
@GOP Before you @ me with respecting people when they’re dead or any of that bullshit, remember that David Koch was an awful human in life. His actions will ensure that this planet is less hospitable for your children & grandchildren. Your life is better from him being dead. pic.twitter.com/BxD71TvMu5
— putt59 (@tracie_putnam) August 23, 2019
I’m not religious & don’t believe in a “judgment day.”
I do believe each soul has multiple lives & after each life there’s a life review so the soul can learn about their impact on others.
Going to be a long life review for David.
Rumor has it that Karma’s a bitch. pic.twitter.com/8kLTPGnM5u
— Beth Houston⏳🕊️ (@MacBethSpeaks) August 23, 2019
good MORNING everyone david koch is DEAD 💞🤠🥂 pic.twitter.com/dv8oA1Gz49
— rafaël (@untimely_me) August 23, 2019
Good News for a f*cking change.
BBC News – David Koch: Billionaire Republican donor dies aged 79 https://t.co/nKMkVyeirK
— Andy Fleming (@slackbastard) August 23, 2019
ding dong the david koch is deeeeeeaaaaaddddddd pic.twitter.com/MUzCQKWERo
— 🔬godhatesyeast🔬 (@godhatesyeast) August 23, 2019
— Sam (@Vballkid77) August 23, 2019
Millions of Americans have suffered because of David Koch’s relentless drive to allow corporations to do anything they want to our communities and environment without any govt rules or oversight. The man’s legacy is ruination.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 23, 2019
Reuters contributed to this report.
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