David Koch Leaving Business, Politics Due To Health Concerns

Here is an excerpt from the note sent to staff.

The move was announced by his brother, Charles Koch, in a letter to employees, stating that David's health has been declining since he was hospitalized last October.

Using the money they made from their Kansas-based family business empire, the Koch brothers have created what is likely the nation's most powerful political organization with short- and long-term goals. Last fall, Vice President Pence traveled to NY to rally David Koch and a group of about 100 other donors to back a Republican tax-cut plan.

David Koch is leaving his roles as executive vice-president and board member for Koch Industries and chairman of the board for the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the charity related to Koch brothers' primary political organization.

On Monday, it announced a multiyear, multimillion-dollar campaign to oppose tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on imports.

This story is developing and updates may be added to this post.

While Charles Koch has remained in the family's hometown of Wichita, David Koch is a prominent figure in NY, where he has been a big contributor to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a leading arts patron.

The network, which includes about 700 like-minded donors who commit to giving at least $100,000 a year, plans to spend $400 million in policy and politics before the 2018 elections, the group's largest midterm investment.

David Koch's departure comes at a pivotal time for one of the most active and well-funded political forces in the country.

But they have become more outspoken in recent months as President Donald Trump has followed through on some of the protectionist and populist rhetoric that made them leery of him in the first place.

Koch, who now lives in NY with his family, will continue to serve on some boards of organizations to which he has philanthropic ties. In 1980, he was the Libertarian Party's nominee for vice president. 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. He has also given $185 million in total donations to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his alma mater.

According to an official bio, he has pledged or contributed more than $1.3 billion to assist various causes, including educational, arts and cultural institutions and public policy organizations. They won about 1% of the vote.

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.

  • Jon Douglas