David Koch: Billionaire Republican donor dies aged 79
Billionaire David Koch, a major donor to the Republican party, has died aged 79.
He had been suffering from cancer.
The former majority owner of Koch Industries was ranked by Forbes, jointly with brother Charles, as the 11th richest person in the world.
Koch wielded huge political influence, bankrolling conservative causes for small government, low regulation and climate change scepticism.
He was also a major donor to medical research, education and the arts.
The brothers' political network funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to Republican candidate Mitt Romney's failed presidential bid in 2016, only to fall out with President Donald Trump over his immigration policy and tariffs.
'Blood and money': The story of the Koch brothersIn 2018 Koch stepped down from Koch Industries - which refines crude oil, produces fertiliser, and manufactures household products - citing his declining health
He had been a philanthropist to the arts, especially ballet, and donated to New York's Lincoln Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hospital
.He ran for vice-president as a Libertarian in 1980, calling for the abolishment of many federal government agencies.According to Forbes, he is estimated to be worth $42.4bn (£34.7bn).
The news of his death was confirmed in a statement from Charles Koch, who said that his brother was first diagnosed with prostate cancer 27 years ago and given only 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," Charles Koch wrote, adding that in those years he married his wife Julia Flesher and had three children.
He also described David as having a "giant personality and passion for life" and noted his "institution changing philanthropic commitments to hospitals, cancer research,
education and the arts".