David Koch stepping down from Koch Industries

Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando Fla. Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers network of business and political activities. The 78-year-old cited health reasons in

Billionaire industrialist and political megadonor David Koch, who helped oversee Koch Industries with older brother Charles Koch, is stepping down from his position as executive vice president and board member of the $100 billion (sales) conglomerate due to deteriorating health.

In a letter sent Tuesday morning to Koch Industries' employees, Charles Koch said his brother first announced his "declining health" in October 2016. The letter cites an undisclosed health issue that put him in the hospital in the summer of 2016. At recent twice-a-year gatherings for likeminded patrons of these groups, David Koch has been noticeably absent. Charles Koch said David Koch will now get the title of "Director Emeritus".

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.

On the political side, officials confirmed David Koch would be stepping away, as well.

Charles Koch had assumed a more visible leadership role in the brothers' affairs in recent years. And the group has already pledged to spend $400 million in the midterm elections.

Koch's announcement came a day after groups backed by the two brothers said they would champion free trade and oppose tariffs with a multimillion-dollar campaign against United States president Donald Trump.

The Koch brothers have used their political network to move the Republican Party and the whole of American politics in a libertarian direction, and David Koch was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 1980.

"We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success", Holden said.

David Koch, who now lives in NY, was raised in Wichita.

He added: "David has never wanted anything for himself that he hasn't earned, as his sole desire has always been to contribute". Other non-political institutions to which he has made sizable contributions include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York City Ballet's Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For instance, he provided $217 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, including $150 million for a new outpatient medical facility. The brothers have donated several millions to doctors and researchers working toward a cancer cure. The money has come through personal gifts and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.

Charles Koch, who will stay on as chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, said his brother was "instrumental" in expanding the business they inherited from their father "1,000 fold" and branching out beyond energy into a host of other products. Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in America, with revenue of $100 billion in 2017, according to Forbes.

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