By Florence Gaitho on March 7 2014
David Koch is a Jewish-American businessman, political activist, chemical engineer and philanthropist. He serves as the executive Vice-President of Koch Industries, which is the 2nd largest privately owned company in the United States. He is also a co-owner (with his older brother Charles) of the conglomerate, and he provides funds towards libertarian and conservative political causes. Koch has an estimated net worth of $40 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the U.S. He is married to Julia M. Flesher Koch, with whom he has three children namely David Koch Jr., Mary Julia Koch and John Mark Koch.
Koch was born on 3rd May, 1940 in Wichita, Kansas to Fred Chase Koch, a chemical engineer and Mary Robinson. He graduated from the Deerfield Academy Prep School in Massachusetts in 1959 and later on joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in chemical engineering. In 1970, he joined Koch Industries and rose to become the President of Koch Engineering after nine years since joining the company.
In the 1982 presidential election, Koch served as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. He is supposedly linked to the right-wing conservative group, The Tea Party Movement, which opposes most of U.S President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda and policies. According to him, President Obama is the most radical president the nation has ever had, and that he has not only done more damage to the free enterprise system in the country, but has also damaged long-term prosperity than any other president that the U.S has ever had. Koch is an avid supporter of policies that endorse free market principles and individual liberty. He also supports stem-cell research and gay marriage.
This 74-year old billionaire is also a major patron of the arts. In the year 2008, he pledged $100 million over a duration of ten years to renovate the New York State Theater in Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, which is now known as the David H. Koch Theater. Koch also made a pledge of $10 million to refurbish the outdoor fountains at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the past 26 years, he has been a trustee of the American Ballet Theater, and has donated over $6 million to the theater.
In addition to the above, Koch is also a renowned philanthropist and has been described as one of the most generous philanthropists in America. Since 2000, he has donated more than $600 million to education, arts and medical research. Some of the charities he has contributed to include the American Museum of Natural History’s David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing, a fertility clinic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Sloan Kettering and Lincoln Centre. Since 2000, his charitable foundation has contributed and/or pledged over $752 million to educational institutions, cancer research, cultural institutions, arts, public policy studies and medical centers. Since the year 2006, Koch has been listed by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the top 50 philanthropists in the world.
Florence Gaitho is a Kenyan Citizen and saying that she likes writing would be an understatement. She is a passionate writer and writing has always been her first love. Florence studied at Mount Kenya University, where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She has been a professional web content/blog/article writer since 2011, and has written articles on diverse fields.