WICHITA, KS – When it comes to leaving a mark on the world, David Koch certainly left his. The billionaire philanthropist and former vice presidential candidate passed away at the age of 79 after the worsening of a ling suffered illness over the last year or so forced him to step away from his professional and philanthropic roles.
With his brother, Charles Koch, he grew their father’s refining business into a global industrial juggernaut and became one of the richest men in the world in the process. Yet it is his contributions, both tangible and in spirit, to the cause of liberty that will likely resonate the most.
It was his brother Charles that officially announced the news in a statement to the Koch Industries family:
“In June 2018, I shared with you news that David was retiring from business and organizational activities due to declining health. It is with a heavy heart that I now must inform you of David’s death.
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.”
Learn more about the life and legacy of David Koch here.