The Koch family (/ˈkoʊk/KOKE) of industrialists and businessmen is most notable for its control of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States (with 2013 revenues of $115 billion). The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy oil into gasoline. Fred's four sons litigated against each other over their interests in the business during the 1980s and 1990s.
Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), American chemical engineer and entrepreneur who founded the oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries and was one of the founding members of the John Birch Society
Mary Robinson Koch (October 17, 1907 – December 21, 1990), wife of Fred C. and namesake of the company tanker vessel Mary R. Koch
The Koch family foundations are a related group of non-profit organizations that began with the establishment of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation in 1953, and now includes the Charles Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Koch Cultural Trust. The organizations collectively have a stated goal of "advancing liberty and freedom" through the support of various causes which "further social progress and sustainable prosperity."
According to the Koch Family Foundations and Philanthropy website, "the foundations and the individual giving of Koch family members" have financially supported organizations "fostering entrepreneurship, education, human services, at-risk youth, arts and culture, and medical research."
^"Koch Industries, Inc.". Company Profile Report. Hoover's, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. "[W]hen he tried to market his invention, the major oil companies sued him for patent infringement. Koch eventually won the lawsuits (after 15 years in court), but the controversy made it tough to attract many US customers."
^Davis, Jonathan T. (1997). Forbes Richest People: The Forbes Annual Profile of the World's Wealthiest Men and Women. Wiley. p. 138. ISBN978-0-471-17751-7. "Founding member (1958) John Birch Society — reportedly after seeing Russian friends liquidated"
^Hoover's 500: Profiles of America's Largest Business Enterprises. Hoover's Business Press. 1996. p. 286. ISBN978-1-57311-009-9. "In 1929 Koch took his process to the Soviet Union, but he grew disenchanted with Stalinism and returned home to become a founding member of the anticommunist John Birch Society."
^Wayne, Leslie (7 December 1986). "Brothers at Odds.". The New York Times (NY). p. Sec. 6; Part 2, p 100 col. 1. ISSN0362-4331. "He returned a fervent anti-Communist who would later become a founding member of the John Birch Society."
^Diamond, Sara (1995). Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. NY: Guilford Press. p. 324 n. 86. ISBN0-89862-862-8.