David Koch, the billionaire philanthropist and a major donor to conservative causes has died aged 79 it was announced yesterday.
David, along with brother Charles, amassed his fortune through Koch Industries and became one of the world’s richest people, with assets of $42.2 billion in 2019. David retired as executive vice president of Koch Industries in 2018 due to declining health. In total, David has pledged or contributed more than $1.295 billion to cancer research, medical centres, educational institutions, arts and cultural centres, and public policy organisations.
Charles Koch announced the death in a statement on the Koch Industries website.
‘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.
‘In those bountiful years, he married the lovely Julia Flesher, had three exceptional children, while remaining dedicated to the long-term success of Koch Industries. David also made institution changing philanthropic commitments to hospitals, cancer research, education and the arts. 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.’