It was announced Friday morning, August 23, that billionaire David Koch passed away at the age of 79, following a 27-year battle with prostate cancer. According to Forbes, the famed industrialist, philanthropist, and conservative political activist leaves behind a net worth of $50.5 billion, which made him the 11th richest person in the world.
David’s brother, Charles, with whom he owned Koch Industries, confirmed his passing, saying in a statement “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.”
Here’s what you need to know about David Koch’s net worth:
1. Koch Industries Owns 12 Companies & Has Revenues of $110 Billion
Forbes reports that Koch Industries has revenues of $110 billion, which they attribute in large part to their oil refinement as well as production of fertilizer, Dixie cups and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
Although David and his brother Charles maintained majority control over Koch Industries, CNN reported in 2018 that David was stepping down from his roles at Koch Industries. The statement cited Koch’s deteriorating health as the reason, adding “As a result, he is unable to be involved in business and other organizational activities. Because of this, David will be retiring from his responsibilities at Koch and other organizations.”
According to the Koch Industries’ website, their companies include Flint Hills Resources, Georgia-Pacific, Guardian Industries, Invista, Matador Cattle Company, and Molex. Koch also owns companies dealing in AG & Energy Solutions, Disruptive Technologies, Engineered Solutions, Equity Development, Minerals, and Supply & Trading.
Koch Industries employs almost 120,000 people in 50 countries; 65,000 of those jobs are in the United States.
2. Koch Donated an Estimated $1.2 Billion to Philanthropic Causes
According to NBC News, Koch was a dedicated supporter of the arts in New York City and donated $65 million to a renovation of the Metropolitan museum of art.
His 1992 cancer diagnosis also inspired Koch to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research, giving to Memorial-Sloan Kettering, in particular.
In Charles’ statement mourning the loss of his brother, he made sure to touch on David’s reverence for his doctors and how he turned his cancer diagnosis into a philanthropic opportunity: “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.”
3. Koch Gave Over $2 Million to His 1980 Vice Presidential Campaign
In 1980, David Koch ran for Vice Presidency under the Libertarian party ticket. Citing a 1980 report by Libertarian party members Ed Crane and Chris Hocker, DesmogBlog.com reports that $2.086 million of the $3.48 million raised for the Clark for President Committee came from David Koch personally.
Although he and his running mate Ed Clark once received 1% of the vote, the campaign was just the start of Koch’s involvement in politics, and led him and his brother Charles to form a network of conservative organizations and donors.
4. David & Charles Offered a $889 Million Budget During the 2016 Presidential Elections
In 2015, NPR reported that David and Charles Koch announced that their donor network would be contributing a $889 million budget to the 2016 presidential election for the GOP. That number was double what the network spent for the 2012 election.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was campaigning for the Republican presidential candidacy, supported the billionaire brothers and their donor budget. Addressing an audience, he said “Let me very clear. I admire Charles and David Koch. They are businessmen who have created hundreds of thousands of jobs.” He continued, adding “And they have stood up for free market principles and endured vilification, with equanimity and grace.”
According to CNN, Koch declined to support Donald Trump, who ultimately won both the Republican presidential primary and the 2016 Presidential election.
5. He Purchased a $40 Million New York City Home in 2018
According to Patch.com, Koch was revealed to be the mystery buyer of a double-townhouse mansion in 2018. The Upper East Side home was originally listed at $51 million, but Koch purchased it for $40.25 cash.
Koch previously purchased an 18-room duplex apartment in New York’s historic 740 Park Avenue for $17 million in 2003, according to Business Insider.