Tags: david koch | network | retire | health

Billionaire Conservative David Koch to Retire

Billionaire Conservative David Koch to Retire
David Koch in 2017 (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 June 2018 11:05 AM

David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who has donated countless millions to conservative causes, plans to retire from his leadership roles at Koch Industries and the so-called Koch network of wealthy right-leaning donors.

Koch is leaving for health reasons, according to an internal Koch Industries memo obtained by CNBC. The 78-year-old business tycoon was diagnosed with prostate cancer more than two decades ago and his health has been deteriorating.

"His guidance and loyalty, especially in our most troubled times, has been unwavering," his brother Charles Koch wrote in the internal memo.

The announcement came just one day after the Koch-backed political network announced a multimillion dollar publicity campaign to Donald Trump's controversial tariffs on steel and aluminum. And the group has already pledged to spend $400 million in the midterm elections.

David Koch has been an executive vice president and board member of Koch Industries, and chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Chemical Technology Group. He has also led the David H. Koch Foundation, which has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the arts, particularly in New York City. 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.

As of July 2014, tied with Charles as the sixth wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $41.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Over the years, the brothers have used their financial influence to spearhead conservative and libertarian politicians and ideology.

In 2016, Freedom Partners, a political operation run by the brothers, budgeted $889 million for its political activities in the 2016 election, including field operations, new technology, policy work, advertising, data gathering and grass-roots activities.

They have also hosted political events, including The American Recovery Policy Forum, which featured Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio when they were eyeing presidential runs in 2015.

David Koch has been a vocal booster of free-market initiatives such as eliminating trade barriers between countries.

Along with his brother, he has made an indelible mark on the promotion of conservative causes, so much so that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted Republicans as having a "Koch addiction."

Among their successful pushes have been getting tax cuts, a conservative judge seated on the Supreme Court and the rollback of governmental regulations, including labor and environmental rules.

David Koch will now become director emeritus at Koch Industries.

He and his foundation have been in the forefront of spearheading research and treatment of prostate cancer and he is a board member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

He provided $217 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, including $150 million for a new outpatient medical facility, The Washington Post reports.

He also gave $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, according to the newspaper.

In addition to stepping down from his role at Koch Industries, David Koch is also leaving as chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

"Due to health reasons, David Koch will be resigning from the board," said Mark Holden, a co-chairman. "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. We wish him and his family well."

In 1980, Koch ran was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president, along with Ed Clark, its’ presidential pick.

Charles Koch, 82 said he is "deeply saddened" by his brother’s retirement, adding that “David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way.”

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

The Koch Brothers have made an indelible mark on their support for conservative causes, so much so that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted Republicans as having a "Koch addiction."

Among its successful pushes have been getting tax cuts, a conservative judge seated on the Supreme Court and the rollback of governmental regulations, including labor and environmental rules.

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David Koch, the billionaire industrialist who has donated countless millions to conservative causes, plans to retire from his leadership roles at Koch Industries and the so-called Koch network of wealthy right-leaning donors.
david koch, network, retire, health
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2018-05-05
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 11:05 AM
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