A Kansas-based, now-multinational corporation, Koch Industries was co-founded by their father Fred Koch in 1940.
David and Charles have funded conservative candidates and think tanks for decades to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. They were fierce critics of Democratic President Barack Obama but failed in their bid to stop him from being re-elected in 2012.
With the billions from their business, the Koch brothers helped to build a massive conservative network of donors for organizations that work to mobilize voters and sway elected officials in support of libertarian-leaning economic policies.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries one of the top 20 air polluters in the US.
The Kochs were no fans of businessman-turned-politican Donald Trump and backed rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. And Trump supporters don't exactly back them either given the wide philosophical gap between the billionaire brothers and the president.
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While lionised on the right, the Koch brothers have been vilified by Democrats who see them as a dark and conspiratorial force, the embodiment of fat-cat capitalism and the corrupting role of corporate money in American politics. Their combined wealth exceeded that of the world's richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
After surviving a plane crash in 1991, Koch was moved to change his life.
"I felt that the good Lord spared my life for a goal". Greenpeace estimates that between 1997 and 2017 the Koch family spent more than ExxonMobil funding climate denial, and thus established climate-change denial as conservative dogma. And he gave $100 million to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History.
The native of Wichita, Kansas, ran for president as a Libertarian in 1980, calling for the abolishment of several federal government agencies.
David's company produced fertiliser, toilet paper and refined crude oil. "He was always dedicated to the long-term success of the company", Charles said. He served as a board member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "In a company-wide memo, Charles Koch praised his brother for his guidance and loyalty, especially in our most troubled times, has been unwavering". David and Bill Koch were twins. He leaves behind his wife, Julia Koch, and three beloved children.
Meyer tweeted Friday morning that she had been told Koch had died. "We will miss the fifth link in our family".