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Billionaire Philanthropist, Conservative Icon David Koch Dies.

Byline: Dave Royse

Billionaire philanthropist, industrialist and conservative icon David Koch has died at 79.

His death Thursday followed a period of declining health and was announced by his brother Charles. David had battled prostate cancer for two decades.

The Koch brothers put hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative causes and a network to promote that agenda that to some on the left made them villains: the behind-the-scenes sources of many of the conservative policies adopted over decades.

The brothers founded the powerful policy group Americans for Prosperity.


But David was less involved in politics and policy than his brother, and just as well-known for his philanthropic contributions, which included $100 million to create the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also donated millions to other cancer research centers and universities, and was a large contributor in the arts.

"He believed he had a responsibility to a world that had given him so many opportunities to succeed," Charles said in a statement. "David's philanthropic dedication to education, the arts and cancer research will have a lasting impact on innumerable lives -- and that we will cherish forever."

While long active behind the scenes, David's one foray into the public part of politics was a 1980 run as the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate.

Koch, who lived in New York, was an MIT-trained engineer who served on the board of privately held Wichita-based Koch Industries. He also was CEO of its Koch Chemical Technology Group subsidiary before retiring last year.

David was tied with brother Charles for 11th on the Forbes list of country's richest people, with a net worth of $50.5 billion.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia.

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Date:Aug 23, 2019
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