David Hamilton Koch is an American billionaire businessman, political activist, philanthropist, and chemical engineer. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Koch Industries, the second-biggest privately owned conglomerate in the US as well as the CEO of its subsidiary ‘Koch Chemical Technology Group.’
David began working for Koch Industries in 1970. In 1979, he became the president of Koch Engineering subsidiary, and 4 years later became a co-owner of Koch Industries with his brother Charles Koch. As per Forbes, Koch’s estimated net worth in 2013 was $22.5 billion, which grew to $40.7 billion in April 2014, thereby making him the 4th richest person in the US and the 9th richest in the world. He also overtook Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 and became the wealthiest resident of New York. In 2011, Time magazine featured Koch in their list of ‘100 Most Influential People of 2011.’
Koch is a leading libertarian conservative who financed and ran for US vice presidency in 1980 on a Libertarian Party presidential ticket. A survivor of the 1991 USAir Flight 1493, Koch has donated extensively to varied charitable organizations such as Sloan Kettering, Lincoln Center, David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing at the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He has also funded many political advocacy organizations like Americans for Prosperity as well as donated to primarily Republican political campaigns.
In 2008, Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater was renamed the David H. Koch Theater after a donation of $100 by Koch for its renovation.
David Koch – Wife, and Children
David Koch was born on May 3, 1940, to chemical engineer Late Fred Chase Koch and Mary, in Wichita, Kansas. He has 3 siblings. He graduated from Massachusetts’ Deerfield Academy prep school in 1959. He then attended MIT and earned a Bachelors as well as a Masters in chemical engineering in 1962 and 1963 respectively. He is married to Julia M. Flesher Koch and the couple have three children.
In addition to his opulent 9,000 square foot main home in New York, Koch owns luxurious properties in Aspen, Florida’s Palm Beach, and Southampton. He likes to spend time cruising across the Mediterranean on his 246-foot superyacht ‘Leander’; sometimes for several weeks at a stretch. He also like cruising across town streets in chauffeured Mercs along with his family. Koch is a patient and survivor of prostate cancer. He has been battling the disease for more than a decade.
The Political Career of David Koch
In the 1980 US Presidential elections, Koch was elected as the vice-presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party. The presidential candidate was Ed Clark.
The duo’s election manifesto included varied promises, such as abolishment of the Federal Reserve Board, Social Security, welfare, corporate taxes, minimum-wage laws, U.S. Federal agencies like the SEC, ICC, EPA, FTC, FBI, OSHA, DOE, and CIA, and all subsidies and price supports for business and agriculture.
The Clark–Koch ticket got 1.06 percent of the total nationwide vote. In terms of percentage, this was the best result ever of a Libertarian Party national ticket.
In 1984, Koch broke away and distanced himself from the Libertarian Party after it supported the elimination of all taxes. From then on, Koch became and remained a Republican.
Koch founded CSE or Citizens for a Sound Economy organization in 1984 and became its Chairman. Koch is also a board member and regular donor of libertarian Cato Institute and Reason Foundation. The CSE split into Americans for Prosperity Foundation and FreedomWorks in 2004. Koch still remained the chairman of Americans for Prosperity Foundation and continues to donate money to it as well as other related advocacy groups like Americans for Prosperity. He has no association with FreedomWorks.
Koch has admitted that he is a sympathizer of the Tea Party. However he has stated that he has never attended any event of the Tea Party, has not made any donations to it, no member of the party has ever met him, and nor has he directly supported it in any way.
The Homes and Estates of David Koch
- New York Apartment: This is the primary residence of David Koch. He purchased this lavish home for $9.5 million from Jackie Kennedy. The grand apartment covers 5,300 sq. feet and consists of 5 stylish bedrooms, and 5 exotic bathrooms. The living room is artistically decorated with a big book shelf, dazzling ceiling lamps, ultra-fine designer chairs, table lamps, a separate area for dining, and red and heavenly-white hued walls.
- Palm Beach home: It is a spectacular 30,000 square foot beachfront mansion located in Palm Beach, Florida. It is estimated to be worth about $37 million in the market. Koch also put in $10 to $12 million to renovate the place and make it his posh pad. Some of the awesome features of this plush architecturally marvelous home include big trees and light vegetation that dot the outdoors; a captivating colored terrace; fully furnished interiors embellished by gorgeous chandeliers, fine artwork, and exquisite staircases; several large windows to allow ventilation and sunlight; and a large outdoor pool.
- Aspen home: Located in Aspen, Colorado, this beautifully crafted house is estimated to be worth $15 million. It features spacious, fully furnished, and artistically decorated interiors and awesome views of the picturesque landscape.
- Southampton home: Situated in Southampton, New York, this opulent property of the energy magnate covers nearly 11,000 square feet and is valued at $18 million. It has 7 comfortable bedrooms, a mammoth outdoor pool, and 9 fancy bathrooms for added luxury.
The David Koch Foundation and other Philanthropic efforts
Koch is a founder of the David Koch Foundation. Over the years, it has given over $750 million in donations to varied charitable causes such as promotion and sustenance of cultural and art institutions, cancer research, as aid to educational institutions, development and advancement of medical centers, and conducting studies of public policy.
Koch has donated $100 million for creation of the ‘David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.’ He has also given $25 million each to the ‘The Hospital for Special Surgery’ in New York and to the ‘M.D Anderson Cancer Center’ in Houston.