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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Rise of the Koch brothers: How the billionaire industrialists were shaped by their father's...


He was the scion to an oil fortune, a twin who has been closely aligned with his older brother Charles in both business and politics, and a one-time vice-presidential candidate that has given millions to libertarian and conservative causes that have greatly influenced national politics.

Billionaire David Koch, a powerful donor and philanthropist and one of the richest people in the world, has died at age 79. His net worth has been estimated to be close to $50 billion.

With his brother, Charles, who took the reins of the company their father, Fred Koch, had built, they greatly expanded Koch Industries beyond oil refinery to become the privately-held conglomerate it is today, boasting an estimated $110 billion in revenue. 

Fred Koch, who came to hate communism after building oil refineries in the Soviet Union under Stalin, was a founding member of the John Birch Society, which advocated for limited government. Charles and David - who fought over money for years against their two other brothers, Frederick and William - followed their father's political path by founding the libertarian Cato Institute and became influential boosters of the conservative movement.

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