Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

Last week Trump imposed steep tariffs on foreign aluminium and steel prompting retaliatory moves from Canada Mexico and the EU

David will also step down from his role as chairman for Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots conservative group that is a part of the Koch network, the memo said. David, who has an estimated net worth of $52 billion, will take on the title of director emeritus after his retirement.

Koch-backed groups, the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative, announced the new campaign this week. Here is an excerpt from the note sent to staff.

Charles Koch announced in a letter to employees of Koch Industries on Tuesday that his brother's health had deteriorated since a hospitalization last summer. As a result, he is unable to be involved in business and other organizational activities. Last fall, Vice President Pence traveled to NY to rally David Koch and a group of about 100 other donors to back a Republican tax-cut plan.

"We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success", Mark Holden, general counsel of Koch Industries and co-chairman of the semi-annual donor summits the political network hosts, said in a statement.

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Yet the Kochs have clashed with the Trump administration at times.

This story is developing and updates may be added to this post. The group, which aims to reform policy and politics in areas such as education and business, has spent hundreds of millions in past elections.

Charles and David Koch's company has interests ranging from pipelines to paper towels.

Over the years, David Koch has donated millions of dollars to a variety of organizations and causes both political and non-political. They have, however, distanced themselves from and disagreed with President Trump on a variety of issues. He earned two degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1960s.

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Koch, who now lives in NY with his family, will continue to serve on some boards of organizations to which he has philanthropic ties. The MIT grad ran as the Libertarian candidate for vice president with Ed Clark in the 1980 election, where the duo won roughly one million votes.

He also gave $128 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital, $26.5 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $26.2 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, $20 million to Johns Hopkins University, $10 million to Mount Sinai Medical Center and $10 million to the children's hospital at Stanford University for allergy research, according to the newspaper. The money has come through personal gifts and the David H. Koch Foundation.

According to an official bio, he has pledged or contributed more than $1.3 billion to assist various causes, including educational, arts and cultural institutions and public policy organizations.

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