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Charles Koch

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Charles Koch is the chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, the second-largest closely held business in the US. The Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate operates in oil refining, pipelines, commodities trading, ranching and paper pulp, and has annual revenue of about $125 billion. He owns 42% of the company.

Koch’s fortune derives from a 42% stake in Koch Industries, a closely held industrial conglomerate. Koch Industries is one of the largest closely held companies in the US and has annual revenues of about $125 billion, according to a person familiar with the company’s results.

Revenue for Flint Hills Resources is estimated to have been about $45 billion in 2022 by comparing their reported production capacities and pipeline miles with select industry peers.

Based on information from court filings, paper and pulp producer Georgia-Pacific had $4.6 billion of earnings.

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Based on an analysis of credit reports and discussions with people familiar, Polymer and fiber producer Invista had revenue of $4.4 billion. Electronic components manufacturer Molex had revenue of $8.4 billion. Glass manufacturer Guardian Industries had revenue of $3.6 billion.

Infor Global Solutions, an enterprise software company, had earnings of $740 million and is wholly owned by Koch after its acquisition was completed in April 2020.

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In addition, $40 billion in cash, miscellaneous investments and land less certain overhead costs and liabilities is held by the Koch Industries parent, based on Moody’s reports stating that the company has a zero net debt position and information provided by a person familiar.


Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Charles Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1935, to Mary and Fred Koch, who had co-founded an engineering company that specialized in oil refining and oil-related processes. Charles attended military school and studied engineering at MIT. He joined the family business in 1961 and took over the company following his father’s death in 1967.

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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 a fourth brother, David, sided with Charles. Bill and Fred agreed to sell their shares back to the company for $1.1 billion in 1983. 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.

At the helm of Koch Industries for more than 50 years, Koch has made a number of acquisitions, including the 2005 purchase of Georgia-Pacific for $21 billion. One of the original founders of the Cato Institute, he remains a backer of Republican and libertarian causes.


  • 1935 Charles Koch is born in Wichita, Kansas, to Fred and Mary Koch.
  • 1959 Graduates from MIT with two master’s degrees in engineering.
  • 1963 Appointed president of Koch Engineering.
  • 1967 Takes over the family business after his father’s death.
  • 1976 Establishes the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
  • 1980 Brothers Bill and Fred attempt to oust him as CEO of Koch Industries.
  • 1985 Bill and Fred Koch sue Koch Industries over the value of their shares.
  • 2000 Bill and Fred Koch lose their lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 2012 The Cato Institute settles two lawsuits with the Koch brothers.

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