Before becoming chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, before graduating with two master’s degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering, Charles Koch made a profound discovery about his abilities in his third-grade classroom during a math lesson.
Realizing his aptitude for math and later engineering, he set out in his career to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to discover their innate capabilities and apply them to improve their lives and their communities.
Fueled by this passion, he has contributed more than $1 billion to philanthropic efforts over the course of his lifetime—including $188.8 million in 2017.
Time reports, "...the overwhelming bulk of the donations has gone to civic and philanthropic groups, not the political ones he’s better known for. Last year, 95% of his personal giving went to educational programs and community groups that deal with persistent poverty."
“I do not believe ‘sum total’ is the most effective measure for evaluating my philanthropy,” Charles Koch told TIME in a statement. “Those results — which are real and measurable — are the true indicator of my philanthropy.”