David Koch Dead At 79 — Here's Who He Was And What We Know About Him

He was responsible for the modern right-wing movement.

How Did David Koch Die? New Details On The Founder Of The Right Wing Movement Who Passed Away At 79 Getty Images

He's considered the father of the modern right-wing political movement in the United States, and he's nothing if not controversial. Yet, he just died at the age of 79. So how did David Koch die?

Let's look at what we know about this controversial figure. 


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1. He was considered a philanthropist. 

According to NBC News, David Koch was the executive vice president of Koch Industries. This company definitely donated a lot of money, but those donations were always political in nature — which is something that, if nothing else, has made him a very controversial figure throughout the years. That said, his industry has also donated a lot of money to places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

2. David Koch's donations helped mobilize conservative voters. 

"Dating back to the 1970s, Charles and David helped found and fund libertarian organizations, but in the ensuing decades they shifted their efforts toward more straightforward support of Republicans. It was during President Barack Obama’s administration that the Kochs dramatically escalated their political activity and became two of the most important political funders on the right. In the 2018 midterm elections, for instance, the Kochs announced that their donor network — partly funded by them, but also by other wealthy conservatives — planned to spend up to $400 million on helping Republican candidates," reported Vox


3. He was a billionaire. 

According to The New York Times, Koch Industries was recently valued at more than $40 billion. He had a 42% stake in the family business, which started out as an energy and chemicals conglomerate. (And, by the way, the family name is pronounced "Coke" not "Cahtch"). 

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4. David Koch's death was celebrated on Twitter. 

"Other users simply celebrated David’s passing, while some criticized those who dared to mourn him. “When a bad person dies they don't suddenly become a saint. Their legacy of destruction and pain doesn't just float away. David Koch is dead, we have to deal with the fallout of his villainy for hundreds of years,” liberal writer Oliver Willis wrote," according to Fox News, who — naturally — got in their little feelings over this passing. 

5. His nephew is poised to take over — and he plans to shift the focus away from politics. 

According to Business Insider, David Koch's nephew Chase Koch — who is Charles' son — is being positioned as the "heir to the throne" of Koch Industries. Chase, however, is planning to shift the company's focus away from conservative politics, reportedly because he doesn't like Donald Trump very much. 


6. David Koch's family didn't release an official cause of death. 

“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 Koch said after his brother’s death to Fox Business, while not disclosing the cause of David Koch's death.


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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.