Billionaire industrialist, political activist David Koch dies at 79

WASHINGTON -- David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. and a long-time philanthropist, has died at age 79.

His older brother, Charles, announced the death on Friday, saying, "It is with a heavy heart that I now must inform you of David's death."

David Koch, a billionaire who lived in New York City, was the Libertarian Party's vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He was a generous donor to conservative political causes as well as educational, medical and cultural groups.

The Koch brothers were best known for a vast political network they built that became popularly known as the "Kochtopus" for its far-reaching tentacles in support of conservative causes. The brothers founded the anti-tax, small government group Americans for Prosperity.


I was taught from a young age that involvement in the public discourse is a civic duty," David Koch wrote in a 2012 op-ed in the New York Post. "Each of us has a right, indeed, a responsibility, at times, to make his or her views known to the larger community in order to better form it as a whole. While we may not always get what we want, the exchange of ideas betters the nation in the process."

After battling prostate cancer for 20 years, he told a repo