I would have used word donor instead of philanthropist though.David Koch, conservative billionaire and philanthropist, dead at 79
David Koch — the billionaire co-owner of Koch Industries — has died. He was 79 years old.
The death of the billionaire conservative icon, who stepped down from his role as executive vice president of the family’s company last year, was announced Friday morning by his older brother, Charles.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David. Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life,” Charles said in a statement.
David was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer 27 years ago and given just a few years to live — but wound up beating those odds, Charles added.
“David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay,” Charles’ statement continued. “We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.”
Last year, Charles said he was “deeply saddened” over his brother’s retirement due to his declining health.
“David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way,” the letter said.
David was the 11th richest man in the world with a net worth of $42.9 billion, according to Forbes. Koch Industries is the second-wealthiest private firm in the country with annual revenues estimated as high as $110 billion.
David is survived by his wife, Julia Flesher, and their three children. In their own statement, the family remembered the philanthropist as their “walking Google.”
“While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart,” the statement said. “His stories of childhood adventures enlivened our family dinners; his endless knowledge rendered him our ‘walking Google.’ His sensitive heart had him shed a tear at the beauty of his daughter’s ballet, and beam with pride when his son beat him at chess. We will miss the fifth link in our family.”
The circumstances surrounding David’s death weren’t immediately clear.