16 March 2015

The Koch Brothers

America's Richest Oil Tycoons. Source: http://money.cnn.com/infographic/luxury/americas-richest-oil-tycoons/index.html
Today, I was surprised to find out that there are big oil tycoons in the USA. The no.1 and no. 2 spots in the USA are taken by David Koch and Charles Koch, two brothers. Together, the two brothers are worth USD89.7 billion, which is about RM332.28 billion. That's a lot of money, and almost 7 times the net worth of George Kaiser, who is the third richest oil tycoon in America.

Their immense wealth comes from Koch Industries, Inc., originally an oil refinery which was co-founded by their father, Fred Chase Koch, in 1940. It was originally called the Wood River Oil and Refining Company. According to Wikipedia, Koch Industries Inc. is the second-largest privately held firm in America.

Fred Chase Koch, the senior patriarch, had four sons: Frederick, Charles, David, and William (Bill). David and Bill are twins, but Bill was born 19 minutes later.

In 1983, Frederick and Bill both sold their shares in Koch Industries Inc to their brothers Charles and David. However, there followed 15 years of litigation between the siblings. Frederick and Bill would accuse Charles and David of cheating them. Eventually, a settlement was reached in 2001, ending all subsequent litigation.

According to Wikipedia, both Charles and David Koch own 42% each in Koch Industries Inc.

The Wood River Oil and Refining Company was later renamed Rock Island Oil and Refining Company. In 1961, Charles joined Rock Island. In 1966, at age 32, he became chairman of the company, after his father's death. In 1968, Rock Island became Koch Industries Inc, in honour of co-founder Fred Koch.

David joined the family business in 1970, eventually becoming president of Koch Engineering in 1979.

Today, Koch Industries Inc. is a huge conglomerate which is involved in various industries. These include manufacturing, chemicals, energy, minerals, agriculture, and many others.

Fred C. Koch was a chemist by training. With the exception of his eldest son Frederick, who studied an arts degree, all his sons -- Charles, David, and Bill -- studied chemistry. 

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