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position CEO and Chairman
industry brothers

Charles G. Koch, born in 1935, is the CEO and Chairman of Koch Industries.  Koch is also on the Board...

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Charles Koch

position CEO and Chairman

Charles G. Koch, born in 1935, is the CEO and Chairman of Koch Industries.  Koch is also on the Board of Directors for Koch Industries subsidiaries Georgia-Pacific and Invista.

His father, Fred Koch, was a staunch libertarian and a founder of the John Birch Society. Like his father, Charles is also an ardent supporter of libertarian and conservative organizations. He is a co-founder of the Cato Institute, the Chairman of the Institute for Humane Studies, and has sponsored multiple conferences for entrepreneurs to encourage them to fund free-market groups. Charles has even applied his libertarian ideology to the structure of Koch Industries, using his own trademarked “Market Based Management” to run the entire company. "Just as central planning is a failure in running government, so it is at the level of the firm," says Charles.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Charles and his brother David were involved in a decades-long family dispute with their brothers, Bill and Fred, regarding a buy-out of company shares. Bill and Fred claimed that Charles and David shortchanged them by $340 million. The vicious lawsuits began in the early 1980s and continued for nearly two decades.

Source: Greenpeace

Charles Koch is tied with his brother David as the 4th wealthiest person in the United States. They are each worth about $25 billion.

"My father said, 'Son, never sue. The lawyers get a third, the government gets a third, and you get your business destroyed.'"
"Every company wants smart people. Well, Hitler was smart. Stalin was smart. Mao was smart. If somebody's evil, the smarter they are, the more damage they're going to do."

-Esquire, December 17, 2008


The U.S. Senate investigated Charles Koch for his alleged role in funding so-called "issue ads" that violated campaign law by helping conservative Republican congressional candidates in 1996. Koch Industries has been the largest oil and gas industry contributor to electoral campaigns since the 2006 election cycle. During the 2008 elections, Koch Industries contributed over $1.8 million, 88% to Republican candidates.

Koch Industries has a long record of environmental crimes and violations [PDF], spends millions on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on backing industry-friendly politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change.  Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as Koch Industries and the other Koch family foundations, numerous and substantial donations go to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming.  Compared to ExxonMobil, which spent almost $9 million on skeptic groups from 2005-2008, Koch Industries dwarfed their contribution with a $24.9 million effort.  More than $5 million of this money went to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which was founded and remains chaired by David Koch. and over $1 million went to the Cato Institute, which Charles Koch co-founded.  The Koch family foundations have contributed over $48 million to the climate denial machine since 1997, more than half of which was spent after 2005.
Source: Greenpeace Report [PDF]

By funding the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program, Koch pays for interns to train out of the Institute for Humane Studies, which received just under $2 million from the Koch network from 2005-2008.  In combination with the Koch Associate Program, Charles Koch's money recruits people to work for right-wing think tanks that are financed and sometimes founded by the Kochs.

In a letter published by The Nation, Charles Koch, who supports groups campaigning to abolish social security, ecouraged Austrian economist Friedrich Hayak take advantage of social security in order to live in the states to become a "senior distinguished scholar" for the Institute for Humane Studies. Hayek, who was reluctant to abandon universal healthcare in Austria due to poor health, qualified for U.S. social security because he attended the University of Chicago when the program was created. Hayek was know for his complete opposition to social security, was a major influencer of Charles Koch's own philosophy. David Koch is also a known opponent to the program, pledging to end social security as part of his libertarian vice presidential campaign platform in 1980.

Koch Industries wholly-owned subsidiary Flint Hills Resources has spent $1 million to promote California Proposition 23, intended to stall state law promoting clean energy and reductions in greenhouse gases.


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