The former majority owner of Koch Industries was ranked by Forbes below brother Charles as the 11th richest person in the world.
Together they had a huge influence on the conservative movement and bankrolled causes pushing for small government and a free economy.
But this has made them both polarising figures.
They gave a lot of money to Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign but fell out with President Donald Trump over his tough immigration policy and tariffs.
He had been a major donor to the arts, especially ballet, and donated to New York’s Lincoln Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hospital.
He ran for vice-president as a Libertarian in 1980, calling for the abolishment of many federal government agencies.
According to Forbes, he is estimated to be worth $42.4bn (£34.7bn).
“David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay,” Charles Koch wrote, adding that in those years he married his wife Julia Flesher and had three children.
He also described David as having a “giant personality and passion for life” and noted his “institution changing philanthropic commitments to hospitals, cancer research, education and the arts”.
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