4th Richest American David Koch, 79; Prostate Cancer

Billionaire who fueled right-wing movement dies at 79

By Robert D. McFadden, Aug 23, 2019

The New York Times – David H. Koch, who amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune with his brother Charles from the corporate behemoth they ran and then joined him in pouring their riches into a powerful right-wing libertarian movement that helped reshape American politics, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 79.

Charles G. Koch announced the death in a statement, which noted that David Koch had been treated for prostate cancer in the past.

“Twenty-seven years ago,” the statement said, “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.”

Hitching his star to the soaring ambitions of Charles, his older brother, David Koch (pronounced coke) became one of the world’s richest people, with assets of $42.2 billion in 2019 and a 42 percent stake in the family enterprise, Koch Industries, a Kansas-based energy and chemicals conglomerate.

He also became a nationally known philanthropist and the early public face of the Koch political ascendancy, as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for vice president in 1980.

Three decades after David Koch’s public steps into politics, analysts say, the Koch brothers’ money-fueled brand of libertarianism helped give rise to the Tea Party movement and strengthened the far-right wing of a resurgent Republican Party.

A gregarious, socially prominent New Yorker who loved the ballet, Mr. Koch saw his name emblazoned on cornices at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the American Museum of Natural History and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital — the Manhattan institutions on which some of his $1.2 billion in charitable gifts were bestowed … Read more.