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Charles Koch on the passing of his brother, David Koch

A letter from Charles Koch to Koch Industries employees.

August 23, 2019

min read

In June 2018, I shared with you news that David was retiring from business and organizational activities due to declining health. It is with a heavy heart that I now must inform you of David’s death.

Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life. Twenty-seven years ago, David was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and given a grim prognosis of a few years to live. David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay. We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.

In those bountiful years, he married the lovely Julia Flesher, had three exceptional children, while remaining dedicated to the long-term success of Koch Industries. David also made institution changing philanthropic commitments to hospitals, cancer research, education and the arts. The significance of David’s generosity is best captured in the words of Adam Smith, who wrote, “to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature.”

While this is a very sad day for us all, I want you to know that David was proud of the extraordinary work you all have done to make Koch Industries the successful company that it is today.

He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.


–Charles Koch