Billionaire businessman David Koch, one of the richest men in the world and a prominent Republican party donor, has died.
The co-owner of oil and manufacturing company Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the US, is one of the world’s most well-known businessmen and philanthropists.
He is reportedly the fourth richest person in the US and the wealthiest resident of New York City, reports News.com.au.
He and his older brother Charles, 83, have been among the biggest donors to the Republican Party since the 1980s.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother David,” Charles Koch said in a statement. “Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”
He was the 1980 candidate for US vice president from the United States Libertarian Party, with Ed Clark the presidential candidate.
In 1984 he broke with the Libertarian Party when it supported eliminating all taxes. Since then, Koch has been a Republican.
Koch (pronounced coke) considered himself a social liberal, who supported a women’s right to choose, gay rights, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research. However, he helped fund the conservative Tea Party wing of the Republican Party and has been called a climate change denier.
While he donated to the Republican Party he was not a fan of Donald Trump’s. Their political network famously refused to endorse a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump once called the Koch brothers “a total joke in real Republican circles.”