Charles de Ganahl Koch born November 1, 1935 is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is co-owner, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries Inc., the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the United States according to a 2010 Forbes survey.
The world’s sixth-richest person (tied with brother David) built his fortune around refining and chemicals, the right places to be last year amid falling natural-gas prices and recovering demand. Koch Industries, with an estimated $115 billion in sales, climbed more than $20 billion in value, mostly on surging refining profits but also improving operations at Koch’s large Georgia-Pacific unit. Things didn’t go so well on the political front: Charles, a die-hard libertarian, failed in his quest to unseat President Barack Obama as president.
Koch provides financial support for a number of public policy and charitable organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He co-founded the Washington, DC-based Cato Institute. Through the Koch Cultural Trust, founded by Charles Koch’s wife, Elizabeth, the Koch family has also funded artistic projects and creative artists.