David Koch is co-owner and executive vice president of Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas-based oil, gas, and plastics conglomerate. Koch Industries is now the largest privately-held company in the United States, producing annual revenues of more than $95 billion.
Born in 1940, he inherited (along with his brothers) the bulk of his father’s company later to acquire a personal fortune of around $3.1 billion, making him the 116th richest person in 2004 according to Forbes magazine.
Over the years, David Koch has become a notable philanthropist, known for his largesse in supporting non-profit organizations that focus on cancer and medical research, enhancement of medical centers, and supporting higher education. He remains an active advocate of libertarian causes, despite his failed bid as Vice-Presidential candidate under the Libertarian Party in the 1980 US presidential election. In recognition of his philanthropic contributions, he was awarded the prestigious Corporate Citizens Award by the Woodrow Wilson International Center.
• David Koch has given large donations to cancer research to find a cure for a disease that has afflicted him for 15 years. He pledged $2 million to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University to build a new building for cancer research. Likewise, he has donated $15 million to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In both institutes, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
• David Koch has furthered research on evolution and paleontology, funding the American Museum of Natural History with a $20 million grant.
• David Koch has played a key role in supporting educational institutions. He contributed $1 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the construction of a new building for cancer research. He bankrolled the construction of Deerfield Academy’s $68 million state-of-the-art Koch Center for mathematics, science and technology.
• David Koch has remained an advocate of libertarian ideology of minimizing government role and maximizing private involvement in the economy. He has contributed hefty sums to Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the Institute for Justice, the Reason Foundation, the Heartland Institute, the Libertarian Party, the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, and the George Mason University.
• David Koch has also contributed to the development of the arts and communications. He pledged over $100 million for the renovation of the New York State Theater. He is also one of the biggest corporate donors for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) show Nova.
• David Koch has also contributed $10 million to the ACLU in relation to crushing Parts 15, 16 and 17 of the US Patriot Act.
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