David Koch, billionaire philanthropist dead at 79

KNSS News
August 23, 2019 - 8:06 am

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David Koch, the billionaire chairman and CEO of Koch Industries who, along with his brother, was one of the most prolific and controversial GOP donors in politics, has died, according to multiple reports. He was 79.

Koch's death was officially announced in a statement Friday morning from his older brother, Charles Koch.

"Today, Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles Koch, issued the following statement on the passing of his brother David Koch: “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.’

“While this is a very sad day for us all, I want you to know that David was proud of the extraordinary work you all have done to make Koch Industries the successful company that it is today. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.”David retired as executive vice president of Koch Industries in 2018.

David Koch leaves behind his wife, Julia Koch, and three beloved children. Julia released this statement on his passing:“While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart. His stories of childhood adventures enlivened our family dinners; his endless knowledge rendered him our ‘walking Google.’ His sensitive heart had him shed a tear at the beauty of his daughter’s ballet, and beam with pride when his son beat him at chess. We will miss the fifth link in our family.“Yet, we wish for all to celebrate the life and impact of this most generous and kind man. He believed he had a responsibility to a world that had given him so many opportunities to succeed. David’s philanthropic dedication to education, the arts and cancer research will have a lasting impact on innumerable lives - and that we will cherish forever.”

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