Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

David Koch — Photo: Koch Industries Media Resources

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers’ network of business and political activities.

The 78-year-old New York resident is suffering from deteriorating health, according to a letter that older brother Charles Koch sent to company officials Tuesday morning.

Charles Koch wrote that he is “deeply saddened” by his brother’s retirement. “David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way,” he wrote.

David Koch is leaving his roles as executive vice president and board member for Koch Industries and a subsidiary, Koch Chemical Technology group, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. Koch is also stepping down as chairman of the board for the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the charity related to Koch brothers’ primary political organization.

Charles Koch had assumed a more visible leadership role in the brothers’ affairs in recent years. He will continue to serve as the CEO of Koch Industries and the unofficial face of the network’s political efforts.

Democrats have demonized the Koch brothers for their outsized influence in conservative politics over the last decade. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid regularly attacked Republicans for what he called…

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