The Wall Street Journal reports:
David Koch, the billionaire libertarian who gave more than $1 billion to charitable causes but was better known for using his money to reshape U.S. politics, has died. He was 79 years old.
His family released a statement Friday saying, “While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart.”
Mr. Koch, whose net worth of about $50.5 billion tied him with his brother as the world’s 11th-richest person in Forbes magazine rankings, gained most of his wealth from a 42% stake in Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries Inc., which has interests ranging from oil to beef to paper and is the second-largest closely held U.S. company.
A longtime New York resident, Mr. Koch was until retirement in June 2018 an executive vice president of the family company.
Though he was a liberal on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, Mr. Koch used his fortune to support conservative causes that favor lowering taxes, free trade and fewer regulations. He was the Libertarian Party’s 1980 vice-presidential candidate.
With his surviving older brother Charles Koch, the chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, Mr. Koch created a network composed of like-minded wealthy donors brought together to back conservative causes.
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