Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#14 David Koch $47.0B

Random fact: Survived airplane collision on runway in which 33 people died.


Koch is executive vice president of Koch Industries, the second-largest closely held company in the U.S. The Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate operates in oil refining, pipelines, commodities trading, ranching and paper pulp and has annual revenue of about $100 billion. He owns 42 percent of the business.

As of May 26, 2018:
Last change +$11.4M (+0.0%)
YTD change -$1.12B (-2.3%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset Georgia-Pacific
Citizenship United States
Age 78
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Koch's net worth of $47.0B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Koch's fortune derives from a 42 percent stake in Koch Industries, a closely held industrial conglomerate and the second-largest closely held company in the U.S., according to the PrivCo 250 ranking for 2016. The company reports annual revenue of "as high as $100 billion" on its website and that figure has been used here since Nov. 30, 2016. Revenue had previously been listed at "as much as $115 billion." The company cited commodity prices as the cause for the fall.

Paper and pulp producer Georgia-Pacific had $19.4 billion of revenue, according to an October 2015 credit report from Moody's, and polymer and fiber producer Invista had revenue of $5.4 billion, according to a September 2015 Moody's report. Combined revenue for Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipelines and Koch Fertilizer is calculated to be $60.8 billion using the sales-per-barrel, sales-per-pipeline mile or sales-per-metric ton of select industry peers and the corresponding data reported by the Koch businesses. Revenue of $4.1 billion for electronic components manufacturer Molex was calculated by applying a 4 percent annual growth rate, derived from conversations with four industry analysts, to its last reported $3.6 billion of revenue in 2013.

The remaining group revenue -- $10.3 billion -- is attributed to Koch's commodity trading, financial services, ranching and pollution-control equipment subsidiaries and is included at a price-to-sales multiple of one. Valuation details for the units analyzed individually can be found in the asset notes for each.

His cash investments were included at $2 billion in 2015, based on a March 2016 Bloomberg report and applied to a generalized asset allocation since then. His stake in the family's private equity fund, Koch Equity Development, is included at the cost of the fund's known investments, based on a June 2016 Bloomberg report.

The billionaire declined to comment through Koch spokesman Rob Carlton in November 2016.


Birthdate: 5/3/1940
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor's Degree Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master's Degree

David Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1940, to Mary and Fred Koch, who had co-founded an engineering company that specialized in oil refining and oil-related processes. Older brother Charles took over the company on their father's death in 1967, rechristening it Koch Industries. David received a master's degree in chemical engineering from MIT and joined Koch in 1970.

A fraternal feud over control of the business erupted in 1980, when younger brother Bill and older brother Frederick tried to unseat Charles as CEO in a failed boardroom coup, while David sided with Charles. In 1983, Bill and Fred agreed to sell their shares back to the company for $1.1 billion. They sued two years later, claiming they were underpaid. A 15-year legal battle ensued, which was decided in favor of Charles and David in 2000.

In 1991, David survived an airplane collision on the tarmac of Los Angeles International Airport, an accident that claimed 34 lives. He's been battling prostate cancer for two decades and has invested millions of dollars in research seeking to eradicate the malady. The billionaire has made philanthropic gifts of more than $750 million in the past decade to the arts and his alma mater, MIT. He remains a backer of Republican and libertarian causes.

  • 1940 David Koch is born in Wichita, Kansas, to Fred and Mary Koch.
  • 1958 Graduates from Deerfield Academy and enrolls at MIT.
  • 1963 Finishes MIT with a master's degree in engineering.
  • 1970 Joins Koch Industries and opens the company's New York office.
  • 1985 Bill and Fred Koch sue Koch Industries over value of stock.
  • 1991 Survives airplane collision on Los Angeles runway that kills 34.
  • 1992 Diagnosed with prostate cancer. Has since supported cancer research.
  • 2000 Brothers Bill and Fred lose suit disputing value of Koch Industries shares.
  • 2012 The Cato Institute settles two lawsuits with the Koch brothers.