David Koch, a conservative donor and activist, has died at the age of 79, his brother announced Friday. The cause of death has not been released but comes on the heels of David stepping down from Koch Industries, a family run business that he and his brother Charles turned into a multi-billion dollar success story.
“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 wrote in a statement.
David’s wife Julia issued a statement of her own following his death. “He believed he had a responsibility to a world that had given him so many opportunities to succeed,” Julia wrote. “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.”
David and Charles Koch amassed the impressive fortune from their Kansas-based company. At the time of his death, David’s net worth was estimated to be $42 billion, the Daily Mail reported.
The two brothers were tied for the 11th richest in the world, which they often donated to various Republican outlets and candidates. The Koch brothers amassed an impressive conservative network of donors that often caught the ire of Democrats.
In 2004, David and Charles created Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit that reportedly spent over $1 billion over the last three elections, NBC News reported.
David ran as Vice President in the 1980 election under presidential candidate Ed Clark. Unfortunately, the duo barely garnered one percent of the votes. Ronald Reagan went on to defeat Jimmy Carter in the election. The Libertarian Party, which Clark and David ran under, issued a statement following the announcement of his death.
“Today, our 1980 nominee for Vice President David Koch passed away. Often a focal point of political debate, David spent much of his life contributing and working in his own way toward what he believed in: a freer world.”
David is survived by his wife Julia, and their three children: David Jr, Mary Julia, and John Mark.