Conservative Billionaire David Koch Dies at 79

His older brother Charles confirmed the death in a statement.

Mark Lennihan/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

David Koch, the billionaire and major conservative donor, has died at 79. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Charles Koch, his older brother and half co-owner of Koch Industries, confirmed in a statement Friday. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”

Koch’s health had been deteriorating for some time. In a June 2018 memo sent to Koch Industries employees, it was announced that Koch would be retiring due to declining health. (He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the 1990s.)

The Koch brothers spent decades using their fortune building a vast network of conservative political causes. As we explained when Koch Industries announced his retirement last year:

The brothers have given hundreds of millions of dollars—and convinced other wealthy conservatives to contribute even more—to support think tanks, politically active dark money groups, and academic research, all carefully designed to foster ideological support for conservative and libertarian ideas. 

[…]

David Koch is the most directly political of the pair, having actually run for office himself: In 1980, he ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket, self-financing most of the campaign.

This is a breaking news post. We’ll update as more information is confirmed.

More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate