The Speaker
Friday, 14 June 2024 – 06:37

Billionaire and Republican donor David Koch dies at 79

On Friday, those close to the billionaire Republican donor David Koch announced that he had passed away, leaving behind his fortune and network of political connections to his brother Charles Koch.

While it is unclear exactly how Koch died, Charles Koch said in the announcement that David Koch had been struggling with prostate cancer since he was diagnosed 27 years ago. David, the younger of the two brothers, had announced last year that he was stepping down from the company he owned with his brother, Koch Industries, due to health reasons. 

The younger Koch was also a philanthropist, donating over a billion dollars to a variety of organizations like MIT, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University and Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The brothers were best known for their influence on American politics, as they have been using their vast wealth to support candidates that pushed for libertarian ideals of limited government, free markets and less conservative immigration policies. Their influence was critical in allowing the Tea Party, a smaller section of the Republican party that espouses more libertarian policies, to win seat after seat following the 2010 election in the US with their funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns across the country.

Despite their support of Republicans since 2010, the recent rise of Trump and the policies he supports have butted up against what the Koch brothers believe, causing a rift between them, as the brothers stated they would not be supporting Trump in his re-election campaign, while Trump has called the brothers a “total joke in real Republican circles.”


Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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