Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

Roman Schwartz
June 7, 2018

He was not specific about the illness.

In his letter, Charles Koch wrote that "Unfortunately, these issues have not been resolved and his health has continued to deteriorate". "As a result, he is unable to be involved in business and other organisational activities".

He added: "David has never wanted anything for himself that he hasn't earned, as his sole desire has always been to contribute".

Known simply as the Koch Brothers, Charles and David have been the object of obsession across the political spectrum. His father Fred Koch cofounded the firm as Wood River Oil and Refining Company in 1940, and Charles took over as CEO in 1967, a title he still holds today.

"Due to health reasons, David Koch will be resigning from the board of the AFP Foundation. And David is much more into elective politics than I am".

The Koch brothers have repeatedly found themselves at odds with President Trump, and recently announced an "aggressive" new campaign against his trade tariffs.

Both David and Charles are major conservative donors and activists.

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David Koch, who now lives in NY, was raised in Wichita, Kansas.

David Koch was diagnosed with prostate cancer 25 years ago, and he has given vast sums toward cancer research since then.

The Manhattan resident donated $150 million to New York City's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2015, the largest gift in the organization's history. He gifted $128 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital, $26.5 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $26.2 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, $20 million to Johns Hopkins University, $10 million to Mount Sinai Medical Center and $10 million to the children's hospital at Stanford University for allergy research. Forbes estimates each brother has a wealth valued at $52 billion. The longtime philanthropist, who has supported vaunted NY institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center, also funded a cancer research institute at MIT and has donated over $700 million to medical causes since his 1992 cancer diagnosis. His representatives say he has provided more than $300 million in additional charitable support, beyond the $1.3 billion, for other causes - including help for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

David was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate for the 1980 presidential election.

He's also served as chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Chemical Technology Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries. It is the second largest privately-held company in the United States.

Groups backed by powerful Republican donors Charles and David Koch said on Monday they will champion free trade and oppose tariffs with a multimillion-dollar campaign that puts them on a collision course with President Donald Trump.

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