Industrialist David Koch dies at 79
Longtime New Yorker owned several homes in NYC, the Hamptons and Palm Beach
David Koch — the billionaire industrialist who backed conservative politics — has died at age 79.
With a net worth of $50.5 billion, the longtime New York resident was tied with his brother Charles as the 11th-richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine. He donated more than $1.3 billion to charity, including hundreds of millions of dollars to the city’s hospitals and cultural institutions.
David Koch’s wealth was tied to his 42 percent stake to Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries, the family’s massive company whose businesses ranged from paper manufacturing to oil refineries. Koch was an executive vice president at the company until his retirement from the company in June 2018.
A major philanthropist, Koch believed he had a “moral obligation” to give charity, he told the Wall Street Journal. He referred to himself as a “sugar daddy” for charitable causes, and said he’d rather spend his fortune to support great institutions over a “bigger house or a $150 million painting.”
Over the years, he donated more than $395 million to medical causes, including New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And he gave $100 million to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History.
In his personal life, Koch made several large real estate plays. Most recently, he dropped more than $40 million on an Upper East Side townhouse, and he previously owned a co-op at 740 Park Avenue. He also had homes in Aspen, Palm Beach and Southampton.