Conservative Billionaire David Koch Dies at 79

His older brother Charles confirmed the death in a statement.

Mark Lennihan/AP

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David Koch, the billionaire and major conservative donor, has died at 79. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Charles Koch, his older brother and half co-owner of Koch Industries, confirmed in a statement Friday. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”

Koch’s health had been deteriorating for some time. In a June 2018 memo sent to Koch Industries employees, it was announced that Koch would be retiring due to declining health. (He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the 1990s.)

The Koch brothers spent decades using their fortune building a vast network of conservative political causes. As we explained when Koch Industries announced his retirement last year:

The brothers have given hundreds of millions of dollars—and convinced other wealthy conservatives to contribute even more—to support think tanks, politically active dark money groups, and academic research, all carefully designed to foster ideological support for conservative and libertarian ideas. 

[…]

David Koch is the most directly political of the pair, having actually run for office himself: In 1980, he ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket, self-financing most of the campaign.

This is a breaking news post. We’ll update as more information is confirmed.

More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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