Charles G. Koch was the second oldest child of Fred C. Koch [1900-1967], the founder of what today is Koch Industries, the world’s largest privately owned company. The father, Fred C. Koch, was the son of a Dutch immigrant, Harry Koch, who had arrived in Quanah, Texas, in 1888. Harry Koch, the grandfather of Charles Koch, was a printer, and some time following his arrival in Quanah, bought a local struggling printer, which also published the local newspaper, the “Tribune Chief”. So Harry Koch became the town’s local printer and newspaper publisher.
Charles Koch was born on November 1, 1935 in Wichita, Kansas. He probably moved around quite a bit as a child because his father, who then was a petroleum engineer, moved around quite a bit because of his chosen career. When he was ready to go to college, Charles enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study engineering. His father had also attended MIT, and had earned his B. S. degree there in chemical engineering. Charles’ major was general engineering and he graduated with a B. S. degree in general engineering in 1957. He remained at MIT, and did his graduate work on mechanical and nuclear engineering. He earned his M. S. degree in that engineering field in 1958. He then decided to remain for another year, and his focus that year was on chemical engineering, the major of his father. In 1959, Charles earned his M. S. degree in chemical engineering from MIT.
Following graduation, Charles went to work as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, a large consulting firm. After only two years at Arthur D. Little, his father summoned him home to help him manage the medium sized oil company, his father then owned and managed. The father threatened his son that if he did not return home, he would sell the firm. Charles apparently got the message, and went to work for his father’s firm. From 1961 to 1963, he served as a vice president of Koch Engineering, the engineering arm of his father’s company. He was promoted to president of Koch Engineering in 1963, and served in that capacity until 1971. But before the end of his presidency of Koch Engineering, in 1966, his father appointed him to the presidency of the entire company. In the following year, in 1967, his father passed away, and Charles became the chairman and chief executive officer [CEO] of the firm, which was then renamed Koch Industries, a name the firm holds until today.
Over the years, Charles Koch has been an outstanding executive, especially if measured by the growth of Koch Industries. When he first took over the company in 1967, the firm was a medium sized oil firm with annual revenues of about $ 180 million, and valued at about the same amount. Today, Koch Industries has grown more than 500 fold and its value exceeds $ 100 billion. During that same period of time the Standard and Poor’s 500 has grown about 110 times its size. In 2005, Koch Industries had its largest growth surge, when it acquired Georgia Pacific, a forest and paper company, for $21 billion.
Charles Koch is a devoted follower of Market Based Management [MBM], a business philosophy he developed, and described in detail in his book entitled, “How Market Based Management Built the World’s Largest Private Company”, published by John Wiley and Sons, in 2007. Charles Koch gives the MBM philosophy credit for the growth of his firm.
Charles Koch is also a generous contributor to many worthy causes. He is the founder or co-founder of a number of foundations, many of them in support of free markets and usually with a conservative economic approach. He is a founder and director of the Cato Institute, and supports other similar organizations. His biggest academic beneficiary of his largesse has been George Mason University, in northern Virginia, near Washington D. C.
Koch and his wife Liz live in Wichita, Kansas. They have two children, a daughter Elizabeth and a son Chase. Charles has three brothers, Frederick R. , David H.  and David’s twin brother William I. . Charles’ brother David is an Executive Vice President of Koch Industries. The other two brothers are not involved in the firm, having been bought out by Charles and David in the 1980’s. Forbes, in their October 2013 survey estimates Charles Koch’s net worth at about $36 billion.
Charles has received many awards and recognitions, most for his largesse and involvement in social, economic, cultural and political organizations. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by George Mason University, an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Babson College, and an Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree by Washburn University. In addition he has received over 20 other citations and awards from other organizations for his contributions.
Note: The author has recently written and published six non-fiction E-books which are available for $2.99 each on the Amazon Kindle web site. Google Amazon Kindle Store, Pegels.
Also see: PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS
Charles G. Koch, http://www.nndb.com/people/918/000058744/
Charles G. Koch, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_G._Koch
Private Enterprise, by Stephen Moore, http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008343
Koch History, http://www.kochnews.com/employee/history.asp
Taking Stock of the Koch Machine, Part I, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/8/17/234014/285