Koch Industries Inc., the largest private company in Kansas

Luay Rahil

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According to Business Insider, The Koch family should be credited with the rise of the Tea Party.

Throughout the years, the family donated extensively to libertarian and Republican causes. In her book Dark Money, Jane Mayer claimed that the family fueled the rise of the radical right. For example, In 2018, Koch Industries gave $1,325,115 to Republican congressional candidates.

How did the family gain influence and wealth?

The family derived their wealth from Koch Industries, considered the largest private company in Kansas. It started as a small engineering firm in America's heartland and became the largest private company in Kansas.

The story behind the brand

A long time ago, in 1927, Fred C. Koch developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline. In 1940, he founded Koch Industries and became a very wealthy man.

Last year, Koch Industries's sales exceeded $115 billion, and it employed 122,00. The company operates in many sectors, including renewable fuels, polymers and fibers, minerals, fertilizers, ranching, refining and chemicals, and consumer products.

Work like you are the poorest person in the world.

In 1932, Fred Koch married Mary Clementine Robinson in Kansas City, Missouri. They had four sons: Frederick, Charles, David, and William.

The kids grew up in a humble environment. In an interview with Warren Cassel Jr, Charles Koch, the eldest son, said, "My father wanted me to work as if I was the poorest person in the world."

At age 6, Charles worked at his dad's farm and developed a passion for math and logic. This passion led him to receive a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1957, a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering in 1958, and a second M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1960.

After Fred Koch got sick, he called and told Charles, "If you don't come back and work for me, I will sell the company." So Charles joined the company in 1961, and with the help of his brother David, they expanded the company to become the second-largest privately held company in North America.

It's Charles' company now.

Charles worked under his father's supervision until he died in 1967. After his father's death, Charles and his three brothers inherited the company but had a lot of trouble agreeing on many things.

In 1983, Forbes reported that "Charles and David bought their two other brothers' stakes in Koch Industries, reportedly for nearly $800 million." After settling with their brothers, Charles and David continued to grow the company.

What started as a small engineering firm in America's heartland has evolved into one of the world's largest private companies. This growth fueled the company's desire to support many causes.

Help others reach their potential

Charles has been an influential philanthropist for over 50 years. He focuses on education, ending poverty, and public policy research.

He has founded many nonprofit organizations, including Stand Together and The Charles Koch Foundation, which partners with social entrepreneurs to remove barriers preventing people from reaching their potential.

The family has tremendous political influence.

Koch also has a tremendous amount of political influence. According to Business Insider, "The Koch family built an influential network of donors aligned with their libertarian ideals of free markets, lower taxes, and shrinking the size of the federal government."

The insider also credits the family "With financially aiding the rise of the Tea Party movement, which wrested control of the House for Republicans in the 2010 midterms at the tail end of President Barack Obama's first term."

If you had the Koch family's money, what causes would you support?

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