David Koch, Billionaire Political Donor, Announces Retirement

David Koch, Billionaire Political Donor, Announces Retirement

Charles Koch, 82, has been the primary leader in recent years for the Koch political network, a vast empire of organizations that's rivaled by only the Republican Party in terms of influence in conservative politics.

Officials said David Koch would transition to a director emeritus role at the company, the second largest privately held firm in the United States.

The LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza stated, "We are pleased to stand with those who understand how greatly America benefits from trade - and how badly hurt we are by tariffs and other barriers". Here is an excerpt from the note sent to staff.

A letter to Koch Industries employees from its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Koch attributes David Koch's decision to deteriorating health. "As a result, he is unable to be involved in business and other organisational activities". "Because of this, David will be retiring from his responsibilities at Koch and other organizations".

The announcement Monday by three groups funded by the billionaire industrialists comes days after the Trump administration imposed new levies on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico and threatened to press ahead with $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese products.

The Kochs, who have channeled billions of dollars into conservative causes, kept their distance from Trump during the 2016 presidential election.


This story is developing and updates may be added to this post. By contrast, the Koch network spent more than $120 million in the unsuccessful 2012 effort to defeat President Barack Obama.

In an April interview with the Washington Examiner, Charles Koch described his younger brother this way: "David is much more political than I am". They have, however, distanced themselves from and disagreed with President Trump on a variety of issues.

Born and raised in Wichita, David Koch received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Koch, who now lives in NY with his family, will continue to serve on some boards of organizations to which he has philanthropic ties. The longtime philanthropist, who has supported vaunted NY institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center, also funded a cancer research institute at MIT and has donated over $700 million to medical causes since his 1992 cancer diagnosis.

Although David Koch's involvement had been reduced in recent years, he still held several top positions within the Koch network, including as chairman of a foundation that supports Americans for Prosperity.

Citing concerns about Trump's style and substance, the network refused to endorse either presidential candidate in the 2016 election. They won about 1% of the vote.

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