Billionaire and Powerful Republican Donor David Koch Has Died
David H. Koch accepts the Laureate Award at the Lincoln Center Spring Gala at Alice Tully Hall on May 2, 2017, in New York City.Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Lincoln CenterDavid H. Koch accepts the Laureate Award at the Lincoln Center Spring Gala at Alice Tully Hall on May 2, 2017, in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Lincoln Center)
By Jack Davis
Published August 23, 2019 at 7:43am
David Koch, a billionaire who invested heavily in conservative political candidates, has died, his brother announced Friday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Charles Koch said in a statement Friday, NBC News reported. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”
Charles Koch noted that his brother had lived 27 years after his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer led doctors to tell him he had only a few years of life remaining.
“David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay,” Charles Koch said in his statement, Fox News reported. “We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.”
“While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart,” Koch’s family said, according to National Review.
The brothers used the income from Koch Industries, an energy and chemical company that produced a wide range of consumer products, to support candidates who supported their political views.
The New York Times estimated that since the 1970s, the brothers had given more than $100 million to support conservative candidates and causes.
Their impact led liberal and Democratic politicians to attack their giving as a sign of undue corporate influence on American politics. Some kept up the attack even after David Koch’s death.
David Koch also focused his giving on education, the arts and health research.
“The significance of David’s generosity is best captured in the words of Adam Smith, who wrote, ‘to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature,’” Charles Koch said in his statement.
David Koch’s passing drew a buzz of reaction on Twitter.
The Koch brothers did not support then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, and had said they did not plan to do so in 2020. The Koch brothers and Trump sparred over the issue of free trade and the potential development of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, CNN reported.
In 2018, David Koch stepped down form his post as as executive vice president of Koch Industries and also stepped away from his role as chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
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