David Koch Steps Down From Company, Political Groups

Jun 08, 2018, 03:17
David Koch Steps Down From Company, Political Groups

A letter to Koch Industries employees from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Koch attributes David Koch's decision to deteriorating health.

Americans for Prosperity has operations in 36 states and a standing army of about 3 million activists the Kochs mobilize for political and policy battles.

He is also leaving his post at Americans for Prosperity.

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

"We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success", Mark Holden, general counsel of Koch Industries and co-chairman of the semi-annual donor summits the political network hosts, said in a statement.

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David and Charles Koch are widely known for their financial support of conservative causes that favor businesses and stricter environmental regulation, according to the New York Times.

The network has clashed with Trump before and the Koch brothers, who each have a net worth of about $47 billion in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, didn't support him in the 2016 campaign.

Through a constellation of aligned groups, the network still plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 election cycle.

The announcement Monday by three groups funded by the billionaire industrialists comes days after the Trump administration imposed new levies on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico and threatened to press ahead with $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese products. They have, however, distanced themselves from and disagreed with President Trump on a variety of issues.

Citing concerns about Trump's style and substance, the network refused to endorse either presidential candidate in the 2016 election.

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

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 earned two degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1960s.

According to an official bio, he has pledged or contributed more than $1.3 billion to assist various causes, including educational, arts and cultural institutions and public policy organizations. His ticket, with Ed Clark, received just 1 percent of the popular vote. Koch Industries is the country's second-largest private company after Cargill and makes everything from components in iPhones to Brawny paper towels.

David Koch had served as an executive vice president and a board member of Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate with interests ranging from oil and ranching to farming and the manufacturing of electrical components.

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