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David Koch, billionaire philanthropist and GOP donor, dies at 79

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David Koch, a billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist, has passed on. David was billionaire libertarian who gave more than $1 billion to magnanimous causes yet was better known for using his cash to reshape U.S. politics. David Koch, the chairman, and CEO of Koch Industries who, alongside his sibling, was one of the most prolific and controversial GOP donors in politics, has died, his family affirmed in a news release Friday morning. He was 79.

David Koch’s passing was authoritatively declared by his older brother, Charles Koch.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Charles Koch said in a statement Friday. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”

Charles said David Koch’s passing came 27 years after he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. At the time, doctors disclosed to him he likely just had a few years left to live.

David Koch stepped down a year ago from helping to run the family business, Koch Industries, Kansas-based energy, and chemical corporation. Charles is the organization’s chairman and CEO.

The brothers were tied as 11th richest in the world in a ranking by Forbes. At the time of his death, David Koch was worth $42.4 billion.

With the riches from their business, the Koch brothers assembled a gigantic conservative network of donors for associations that work to prepare voters and influence elected officials in support of libertarian-leaning economic policies.

The network, led by the not-for-profit Americans for Prosperity, has spent more than $1 billion over the past several elections to help applicants that adhere to their free-market, small-government, libertarian ideals.

The association once in a while split with the GOP under President Donald Trump. It propelled a multimillion-dollar campaign a year ago promoting free trade and warning against tariffs.

David Koch himself kept running as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He and the party’s presidential candidate, Ed Clark, won somewhat more than 1 percent of the vote.

David Koch, a prostate cancer survivor, donated hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research. He was additionally a tremendous supporter of arts in New York City, eminently donating to Lincoln Center and $65 million to help a renovation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

At the point when Koch was diagnosed with cancer 27 years back, he was given five years to live, his brother said.

As indicated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Koch was supposedly worth about $59 billion, making him – alongside his similarly affluent sibling – one of the richest people in the world.

The Koch brothers, referred to for their apolitical philanthropy as well as their more contentious standing as GOP power players, had drawn the ire of President Trump after snubbing his bid for the White House in 2016.

Not long after the election, Charles focused on the organization’s migration and “protectionist” trade policies, declaring that the Kochs’ advocacy groups would move to separate themselves from the Republican Party and rather seek after policies with bipartisan help.

“David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept cancer at bay,” Charles said in the statement. “We can all be grateful that it did because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.”

The Koch brothers reported earlier this year that they would not support Trump’s 2020 re-election offer.

The duo has been highly critical of Republicans in recent months, hammering the GOP for not doing what’s needed to check government spending in their $1.3 trillion spending bill received in March. They have explicitly criticized the White House over Trump’s trade policies, which they dread could trigger a U.S. recession notwithstanding an approaching international trade war.

David Koch was known more for his philanthropic giving, while Charles was more frank in politics.

“The significance of David’s generosity is best captured in the words of Adam Smith, who wrote, ‘to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature,'” Charles said.

David Koch is additionally survived by his wife, Julia, and three children.

“While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart,” Julia said in a statement.

“His stories of childhood adventures enlivened our family dinners; his endless knowledge rendered him our ‘walking Google.’ His sensitive heart had him shed a tear at the beauty of his daughter’s ballet, and beam with pride when his son beat him at chess,” she wrote. “We will miss the fifth link in our family.”

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