When David Koch married socialite Julia Flesher in the Hamptons in 1996, he was well on his way to becoming one of the richest men in the country thanks to his role at Koch Industries, the massive manufacturing company founded by his father and co-run by his brother, Charles. By the time he died in 2019, following health struggles, he had amassed a net worth of approximately $42.2 billion—all of which he passed on to his wife and children. Last year, Forbes named his widow the richest woman in the country, with an estimated fortune of $56 billion.
The records show that in 2018, however—the first year Julia Koch was at the helm—the David H. Koch Foundation made no donations at all. It also made no donations in 2019, the year her husband died, and donated just $2 million in 2020—half of which went to Duke University, where the couple’s eldest son attended college. In 2021, the last year for which documents are available, the foundation donated a total of $1 million to Columbia University, according to filings first obtained by Koch Docs.