David and Charles Koch are among the wealthiest men globally. They have been able to amass a multi-billion dollar domain and run the largest company in America that is privately held while keeping off public eye.
During a recent interview with the ABC News at his firm’s headquarters in Wichita, Charles Koch opened up to give a rare insight of his private life and values that have guided his business career as well as his political activities.
Koch, who is the author of “Good Profit,” did the interview through a letter that is framed in his office. The letter, which had been left for him by his dad, outlined the approach that he and his brothers were expected to take when managing the family’s wealth that had been left to them.
During the interview, Koch reflected on how that letter has been of great guidance in conducting business. In a rare admission, he acknowledged that his father would be disappointed at the feud that made his siblings part ways.
The Koch Industries
Charles Koch is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist and political donor. He is the co-owner, CEO and board chairman of the Koch Industries. Charles and his brother David, individually own 42 percent of the conglomerate. The brothers inherited the venture from their father. The business was originally involved only in chemicals and oil refining, but it has expanded to include polymers and fibers; process and pollution control gadgets and technologies; fertilizers; minerals; ranching; forest and consumer products; and services and commodity trading. The enterprises produce various popular brands, like Lycra of spandex fiber, Stainmaster carpet, Dixie Cup and Quilted Northern tissue.
Early Life and Education
Koch was born in 1935 in Wichita Kansas, where he still lives up to today. Koch explained to Warren Cassell, Jr. that he never lived a privileged lifestyle while he was growing up despite being from a wealthy background. Koch said that his father would always pressure him to work hard as if he was the poorest guy in the world. Koch attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received BSc in general engineering, a M.S. in Mechanical engineering, and a M.S. in Chemical engineering.
Awards and Achievements
At his executive positions in the Koch industries, Charles Koch has been very pivotal in the transformation of the firm from medium size to being among the largest private companies in the US. The company has received over 930 award for environmental excellence, safety, innovation, customer services and community stewardship.