David Koch, the billionaire and political activist, has died at the age of 79, according to the Washington Examiner.
The younger of the two famous Koch Brothers, David had first been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992. His health had been declining in recent years, which led to his retirement last year as Vice President of Koch Industries, a move that was apparently forced by his older brother, 83-year-old Charles, according to a report by The New Yorker in June of 2018.
The brothers had inherited Koch Industries after the death of their father Fred Koch, who founded the company in 1940. Under Charles and David, Koch Industries became a massive multi-billion dollar enterprise; it is currently ranked by Forbes as the second-largest privately-owned company in America, with an estimated revenue of $110 billion, only behind Cargill. Charles and David subsequently became two of the wealthiest men in the world, with estimated net worths of just over $50 billion each.
The Kochs had become most famous for their long history of donating to conservative and Republican political causes, which made them key power players on the Right and major targets of the Left’s rage. Between the two brothers, only David actually attempted a run for office himself, when he was the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1980 election, with running mate Ed Clark. The ticket received just over 900,000 votes, which equated to just 1 percent of the popular vote.
More recently, the Kochs had clashed with President Trump, in their first major break from the Republican Party in recent history. As CBS reported, the Koch Brothers had “declined to spend anything” on either the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign in 2016.
The president tweeted in July of 2018, shortly after David’s forced retirement, that the “globalist Koch Brothers” were “a total joke” who were “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade,” further declaring that he “never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas.” In January of this year, it was reported that Charles Koch had decided that his network would not support President Trump’s re-election campaign.