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(kōk), family of American industrialists and philanthropists.

Fred Chase Koch, 1900–1967, b. Quanah, Tex., grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1922, was a Wichita, Kans., entrepreneur and businessman. He cofounded an engineering firm that developed (1927) an improved method for thermal cracking, a process for converting heavy oil into gasoline. After being sued by the major oil companies for patent infringement, the company set up refineries abroad, including in the USSR, an experience that made him an outspoken critic of Communism. In 1940 he cofounded Wood River Oil and Refining Company, which eventually became Koch Industries. Over the years the company expanded into lumber, paper, fertilizer, real estate, oil pipelines, textiles, electronic components, ethanol, and financial services, with facilities throughout the world. Koch was a founding member of the John Birch SocietyJohn Birch Society,
ultraconservative, anti-Communist organization in the United States. It was founded in Dec., 1958, by manufacturer Robert Welch, headquartered in Belmont, Mass.
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 and wrote A Businessman Looks at Communism (1960).

His eldest son, Frederick Robinson Koch, 1933–, b. Wichita, grad. Harvard, 1955, Yale School of Drama, 1961, served in the navy after graduating from Harvard and then devoted himself to the collecting of art, rare books and manuscripts, and photography. His Frederick R. Koch Foundation has donated important works to major museums and universities, and has restored historic properties in the United States and Europe.

The second son, Charles de Ganahl Koch, 1935–, b. Wichita, grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1957, M.S. 1958, 1960), joined his father's firm in 1961, becoming chairman and CEO (1967) following his father's death. The company was renamed Koch Industries in 1968. A champion of libertarian causes, he was a cofounder (1977) of the Cato Institute and wrote The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World's Largest Private Company (2007). He also is a supporter of and major financial contributor to many conservative and libertarian politicians and causes, including the Tea PartyTea Party,
in the early 21st cent., U.S. political movement that arose in reaction to the economic crisis of 2008 and the government rescue and aid measures for the financial, automobile, and other industries as well as broader stimulus measures enacted in 2008 and 2009.
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His brother David Hamilton Koch, 1940–, b. Wichita, grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1962, M.S., 1963), joined the family business in 1970. He held various company positions, ultimately serving as chairman and CEO of the Koch Chemical Technology Group subsidiary and also executive vice president of Koch Industries until 2018. He ran for vice president on the Libertarian party ticket in 1980. Recipients of his many philanthropic donations include Lincoln Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and the American Museum of Natural History.

David's twin, William Ingraham Koch, 1940–, b. Wichita, D.Sc. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971, worked for Koch Industries until 1980, when he was ousted after trying to take control of the company. In 1983 he and Frederick sold their interest in the company to Charles and David, and he then founded the privately held Oxbow Group, focused on energy resource development and marketing. His yacht America won the 1992 America's Cup.


See J. Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016).


Robert . 1843--1910, German bacteriologist, who isolated the anthrax bacillus (1876), the tubercle bacillus (1882), and the cholera bacillus (1883): Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1905
References in periodicals archive ?
Koch Industries has expanded by buying other companies to increase its revenue.
One of the first horses Koch bought would have to be tied to Chicago.
After graduation, Koch worked for a short time in Hamburg, followed by general practice in Langenhagen, Germany.
Normally a 48-cavity mold would run on a 300- or 350-ton machine, says Koch.
Though gross, this vomiting reflex is such a valuable lifesaver, says Koch, that many other animals, including dogs, cats, birds, frogs, and fish, have it too.
So at a Sunday morning breakfast at Esposito's mother's home, Esposito agreed to give Koch secret logistical support in return for access to his administration.
It was amicable,'' said Koch, who has spent the three years since the board bought out his contract for $100,100 as a consultant.
We're anticipating that the first save of the season will come from Billy Koch,'' Beane said.
Koch saved 36 games in 44 opportunities for the Blue Jays last season but the Dodgers believe his ceiling is high.