David Koch, one of the famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Koch brothers passed away Friday per a letter from his brother, Charles. David was 79 years old. The precise cause of death has not been disclosed but is likely related to his 27 year battle with prostate cancer.

David and Charles Koch

In addition to being the 11th richest person in the world, as a result of his and his brother Charles’s efforts building Koch Industries into the massive oil giant it is today, David was a significant figure in American politics, especially in the Liberty movement. Along with Charles, David played a major role in founding and funding the pro-free-market non-profit advocacy organization Americans For Prosperity, as well as the libertarian think tanks Cato Institute and Reason Foundation.

David Koch 1980 Libertarian Party Rally

While heavily criticized by some (particularly left-wing commentators) as promoting an “ultra-conservative” agenda, David Koch was definitely more of a libertarian than a conservative. As a Libertarian for Vice President in 1980 Koch publicly supported positions such as gay marriage, criminal justice reform, and increased immigration. He also held pro-free-market economic positions. In addition to his involvement in politics, David donated millions to various other charitable causes including cancer research.

“I’m basically a libertarian, and I’m conservative on economic matters, and I’m a social liberal.” – David Koch


Full Disclosure: Matthew Cobb (author) previously worked for Americans For Prosperity as a Field Associate.