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David Koch, conservative billionaire activist and philanthropist, dies at 79



David Koch, a billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist, has died. He is 79.

"It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my brother David," says Charles Koch in a statement Friday. "Everyone who has worked with David has certainly felt his gigantic personality and passion for life."

David retired last year, helping run the family-owned business, Koch Industries, a Kansas-based energy and chemical corporation. Charles is the company's chairman and CEO.

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The brothers were ranked as the 1

1th richest in the world in Forbes rankings. At the time of his death, David Koch was worth $ 42.4 billion.

With the wealth of their business, the Koch brothers helped to build a massive conservative donor network for organizations that work to mobilize voters and drive elected officials to support libertarian economic policies.

A network led by US nonprofit organizations for Pr osperity has spent more than $ 1 billion over the last few elections to support candidates who adhere to their free markets, small governments, libertarian ideals.

The organization sometimes splits with the GOP under President Donald Trump. He launched a multi-million dollar campaign last year, promoting free trade and tariff warnings.

David Koch himself ran for Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee in 1980. He and party presidential candidate Ed Clark won just over 1 percent of the vote.

Koch, a prostate cancer survivor, has donated hundreds of millions of dollars for medical research. He was also a big fan of New York arts, notably donating $ 65 million to the Lincoln Center to support the renovation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When Koch was diagnosed with cancer 27 years ago, he got five years to live, his brother said.

"David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medicines and his own tenacity kept cancer at bay," a brother statement said. "We can all be grateful that he did it because he was able to touch so many lives as a result."

"The importance of David's generosity is best taken into account in the words of Adam Smith, who writes," yes indulge in our benevolent attachments, represent the perfection of human nature, "said Charles.

David Koch also survived by his wife Julia and three children.

" As we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter , an insatiable curiosity and a tender heart, "Julia says in a statement e.

"His childhood adventure stories fuel our family nights; his endless knowledge made him our go-to Google. His emotional heart caused him to shed a tear on the beauty of his daughter's ballet and shine with pride when his son beat him to chess, "she wrote." We will miss the fifth link in our family. "


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