All Leadership Bios

David H. Koch

Director Emeritus, Koch Industries
Dedicated Philanthropist

David H. Koch

David H. Koch was director emeritus of Koch Industries, Inc., and served as chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Chemical Technology Group, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Mr. Koch received his bachelor’s (’62) and master’s (’63) degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to his studies, he was a very competitive scholar athlete. Mr. Koch played on the highly successful Boston Rugby Football Club as well as four years on MIT’s varsity basketball team, where he set a single-game scoring record of 41 points that stood for 46 years.

He and Julia (Flesher) Koch were married more than 20 years and they are the proud parents of three children, David Jr., Mary Julia and John. The family resides in New York City.

A long-time philanthropist and prostate cancer survivor, Mr. Koch made it his mission to help find a cure for prostate cancer in his lifetime. Since being diagnosed 25 years ago, Mr. Koch dedicated much of his philanthropy toward helping patients suffering with cancer and has generously supported doctors and researchers working toward a cure. 

Through personal donations and contributions from the David H. Koch Foundation, he pledged or contributed $1.295 billion to cancer research, medical centers, educational institutions, arts and cultural institutions, and to assist public policy organizations that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans. Through Koch Industries and its subsidiary companies, Mr. Koch provided more than $300 million in additional charitable support for other worthy causes, including relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Medical gifts of note included:

  • $207.1 million in total contributions to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, including $135 million to build a state-of-the-art outpatient medical facility. This recent donation is the largest single gift Memorial Sloan Kettering has ever received and is the largest single gift Mr. Koch ever gave.
  • $185 million in total contributions to MIT, including $100 million as prime contributor for the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, $20 million to help build a new childcare center, and contributions that supported the Koch Biology Building and the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice.
  • $90 million to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to help build the David H. Koch Center, a new ambulatory care center, and $30 million to support other causes.
  • $26.5 million to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to fund the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers.
  • $26.2 million to Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to fund the “Building on Success” campaign and other causes.
  • $20 million to Johns Hopkins University for the David H. Koch Cancer Research Center.
  • $10 million to Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center to create the David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics.
  • $10 million for the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University for Allergy Research.

Cultural and Arts gifts of note included:

  • $100 million to the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, now the David H. Koch Theater.
  • $65 million to renovate the plaza at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  • $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to renovate the dinosaur hall and establish the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.
  • $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City establishing the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing.

Mr. Koch received numerous awards including the 2017 Lincoln Center Laureate Award, the highest recognition for his tremendous generosity to the arts. In 2013, Mr. Koch received the Intrepid Salute Award from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and in 2009 received the Hospital for Special Surgery’s Leadership in Business Award. Mr. Koch was recognized by the New York Academy of Medicine for his support of biomedical research, health care and education, and in 2008 was honored with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Bronze Beaver Award. He also received Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Double Helix award (2007) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Excellence in Corporate Leadership award (2005). Other recognitions included the prestigious Corporate Citizenship Award from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004) and the Deerfield Medal from Deerfield Academy (2003).

Nonprofit boards on which he served included:

  • Director Emeritus, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., New York, N.Y.
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Economic Club of New York, New York, N.Y.
  • Member, Board of Trustees Emeriti, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.
  • Member, Board of Trustees, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, N.Y.
  • Emeritus Trustee, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.
  • Senior Member, Board of Visitors, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  • Life Trustee, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, N.Y.
  • Emeritus Trustee, Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y.
  • Member, Board of Trustees, House Research Institute, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Member, Board of Associates, Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Honorary Member, Board of Trustees, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
  • Life Member Emeritus of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Member Emeritus, American Ballet Theatre, New York, N.Y.
  • Member, Advisory Council, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Aspen Institute, Aspen, Colo.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Institute of Human Origins, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Member, Board of Trustees, WGBH Channel 2, Boston, Mass. 
  • Member, James Madison Council, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • In 2005, Mr. Koch received a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, serving until 2010 when his term expired.