icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

The Koch Empire: What we know about deceased US billionaire David Koch

The Koch Empire: What we know about deceased US billionaire David Koch
David Koch – one of America’s wealthiest men, with a net worth of more than $40 billion, and a major political donor – passed away on Friday aged 79. RT looks at the Koch business empire.

Koch was the 11th richest person on the planet and, at the time of his death, had a net worth of $42.4 billion, according to Forbes. He had majority control of energy and chemical company Koch Industries, which he co-owned with his older brother Charles. The duo built the second largest private US conglomerate in terms of revenue ($110 billion).

A Kansas-based, now-multinational corporation, Koch Industries was co-founded by their father Fred Koch in 1940. The company initially had another name – Wood River Oil and Refining Company. It later acquired Rock Island Oil and Refining Company and was renamed Rock Island before finally becoming Koch Industries in 1959.

Also on rt.com David Koch, billionaire conservative & one of the world’s richest people, dies at 79

The conglomerate evolved from an oil and refining company to a sprawling conglomerate that covers different industries, from chemicals and plastics manufacturing to ranching, plant nutrients, and construction.

David Koch joined the family business in 1970 and served on its board. He was also chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Chemical Technology Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, before he stepped down last year due to health problems.

Koch was diagnosed with cancer more than 25 years ago, but survived much longer than the doctors predicted. He was a donor to New York’s Lincoln Center and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and pledged or contributed $1.295 billion to cancer research and medical centers.

Also on rt.com Jeffrey Epstein ‘signed will’ two days before his death, leaving behind nearly $600 million trust

David and Charles each controlled a 42-percent stake in Koch Industries. The family is considered the second wealthiest in the world, and there are actually four Koch brothers, but only David and Charles remained in control of the firm. The other brothers, Frederick and Bill, sold their interests in 1983. They later sued David and Charles, claiming that they were cheated out of more than $1 billion when they sold their stakes, but lost the case.

The brothers are sometimes referred to as ‘GOP kingmakers’ thanks to their vast investments in politics and support for Republican candidates.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Podcasts