Billionaire conservative United States donor David Koch retires

Friday, 08 Jun, 2018

Conservative billionaire industrialist David Koch is retiring from his roles at Koch Industries and associated companies due to poor health, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Beyond quoting his brother's "declining health", Charles Koch did not describe David Koch's condition. David Koch will retire from his family's conglomerate and step down as chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 25 years ago, and he has given vast sums toward cancer research in the quarter century since then. The personal worth of Mr. Koch is estimated at $52 billion. Koch Industries is the country's second-largest private company after Cargill and makes everything from components in iPhones to Brawny paper towels. Charles Koch said David Koch will now hold the title of "Director Emeritus".

Chairman of the board of Americans for Prosperity David Koch speaks at the Defending the American Dream summit at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 21, 2015.

Known simply as the Koch Brothers, Charles and David have been the object of obsession across the political spectrum.

Over the years, David Koch has donated millions of dollars to a variety of organizations and causes both political and non-political.

After pointedly declining to support Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, the Koch brothers chose to embrace pieces of the administration's policy agenda after he won the election.

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

The Washington Post spoke with Mark Holden at AFP, who said by email that David has been "vital" to the organization's board, but that "the Koch network will continue its plans to expand".

David Koch, along with his brother Charles, owns the second largest private USA company, whose operations range from refining and chemicals to ranching and forest products. That includes $100 million to the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, now the David H. Koch Theater, and $65 million for renovations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Kochs' anti-tariff push has aligned them with the Democrats, who have spent years demonizing the brothers as the source of all evil. Their checkbooks - and their abilities to recruit likeminded patrons - have largely helped conservatives, although this week they announced they were stepping up their game against President Donald Trump over his efforts to drag the United States into a trade war. When Harry Reid was Senate majority leader, the Nevada Democrat routinely railed against the duo in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections as "power-drunk billionaires" intent on buying American elections to suit their purposes.