Billionaire David Koch to retire from Koch Industries

08 June, 2018, 03:16 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Last week Trump imposed steep tariffs on foreign aluminium and steel prompting retaliatory moves from Canada Mexico and the EU

NEW YORK-Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers' network of business and political activities.

In a letter sent Tuesday morning to Koch Industries' employees, Charles Koch said his brother first announced his "declining health" in October 2016.

In his letter, Charles Koch wrote that "Unfortunately, these issues have not been resolved and his health has continued to deteriorate".

David Koch did not attend the network's winter seminar earlier this year.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 25 years ago, and he has given vast sums toward cancer research in the quarter century since then.

In an April interview with the Washington Examiner, Charles Koch described his younger brother this way: "David is much more political than I am".

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Citing concerns about Trump's style and substance, the network refused to endorse either presidential candidate in the 2016 election. By contrast, the Koch network spent more than $120 million in the unsuccessful 2012 effort to defeat President Barack Obama. "David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way", he wrote. The other responsibilities to which Charles referred in Monday's memo include serving as chairman of Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots organization at the conservative end of the political spectrum.

The Koch brothers have repeatedly found themselves at odds with President Trump, and recently announced an "aggressive" new campaign against his trade tariffs. And the group has already pledged to spend $400 million in the midterm elections.

"We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success", Holden said. He has also given $185 million in total donations to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his alma mater. He is a resident of New York City. He gave $128 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, $26.5 million to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, $26.2 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, $20 million to Johns Hopkins University, $10 million to Mount Sinai Medical Center and $10 million to the children's hospital at Stanford University for allergy research.

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.

The clothing-to-chemicals conglomerate is the second-largest privately held company in the United States with annual revenues of more than $115 billion from interests in energy, chemicals and other sectors.

At Koch Industries, David has served as executive vice president and board member at the company that has a current value of $100 billion.

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