Kansas native, Charles Koch, made his fortune with his keen business senses, turning his moderately successful family business into the country’s biggest private company. As the co-owner and CEO of Koch Industries, Koch manages a diverse portfolio primarily made up of petroleum and chemical refining and distribution with a presence in nearly 60 countries. With an estimated net worth of $42.7 billion, Charles Koch was listed as 6th in the world on Forbes’ list of billionaires in 2015.
After buying out his other brothers Frederick and William, Charles has been the driving force and chair of Koch Industries since 1967. He co-owns the company alongside his brother, David. Charles has been quoted saying that this conglomerate will go public “literally over my dead body.”
The Koch’s are also well-known philanthropists. The Charles Koch Foundation was founded in 1980 in order to help advance social well-being and social progress. In 2014, discussions were sparked when the foundation gave a $25 million gift to the United Negro College Fund.