Charles and David Koch are the richest individuals in America’s oil and gas sector–with a combined net worth of $83 billion, according to a new Wealth-X Top 10 list. The two have also been consistently listed in the top 10 richest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index.
Charles (who lives in Kansas) is the CEO and Chairman of Koch Industries and David (who lives in Southampton, among other places) is the Executive Vice President. The brothers are the principal owners of the Wichita-based company founded by their father, Fred, in 1940.
Each owns 42 percent of the business that is responsible for the manufacturing, refining and distribution of petroleum, chemicals, polymers and other materials. It is the second-largest privately held company in America.
East Enders (and anyone with an opinion about the last Presidential race) won’t soon forget the $50,000 a plate fundraiser that David–who holds the title of the wealthiest individual in New York City as well–held at his Meadow Lane home for Mitt Romney in the summer of 2012, which came under aggressive fire. I recall very well the “Koch Kills” and “Romney Has a Koch Problem” banners–it got extremely ugly extremely fast.
In addition to their energy empire, the Kochs have their hands in various businesses and philanthropic efforts. Last year, the deeply conservative brothers moved to acquire the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. David’s Americans for Prosperity has fueled the Tea Party movement. The non-profit group, which is shall we say, NOT supportive of Obama, does not have to disclose its donors, which doesn’t make a lot of people happy.
On the positive side (because this is the Hamptons Party Girl blog after all), David is a patron of the arts. He counts large contributions to Lincoln Center, Sloan Kettering, the American Museum of Natural History–there’s a David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing, The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center and New York City Ballet.
Here’s a link to the Wealth-X article: http://www.wealthx.com/articles/2014/top-10-wealthiest-individuals-in-americas-oil-and-gas-sector/
*Stock photo of oil rig.