Charles Koch of the Koch brothers is part of the uber-wealthy with a net worth of over $51 billion.
In Texas, Charles Koch has created powerful political and fund-raising networks that bankroll Republican candidates and business-friendly causes. In South Dakota, he poured $835,000 into a state with a population of just 879,336 to impact the outcome of this year's election.
He is a mega-donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and any cause he feels is important to the Republican party.
According to Forbes Magazine, two billionaires on the Forbes 400 consider Kansas home, and Charles Koch holds the title of the state's richest person. His net worth exceeds $51 billion, making him the 16th richest person in the country.
Who is Charles Koch?
Charles Koch is an American billionaire business executive. He has been the co-owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries since 1967. During his tenure with the company, the estimated value has grown from $21 million to more than $100 billion.
According to Koch's website, Charles and his wife, Liz, have been married for over 40 years and live in Wichita, Kansas. They have two children, Elizabeth and Chase.
How did Charles Koch get started?
A long time ago, in 1927,
In 1932, Fred Koch married Mary Clementine Robinson in Kansas City, Missouri. They had four sons: Frederick and Charles, and twins David and William.
However, Charles Koch is the wealthiest person in the Koch family.
Who is Charles Koch?
On November 1, 1935, Charles Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, to a wealthy family. Yet, he grew up in a humble environment.
In an interview with Warren Cassel Jr, Koch said, "My father wanted me to work as if I was the poorest person in the world."
At age 6, he 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 his father got sick, he Koch in 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.
He worked under his father's supervision until he died in 1967. After his father's death, Charles and his four 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 Charles Koch's money, what causes would you support?