WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James made the following statement about the death of philanthropist David Koch.
With a heavy heart, we note the passing of a great philanthropist and friend of liberty, David Koch.
David was known as one of the great philanthropists of the modern era. A tireless supporter of the arts, he was an extraordinarily generous patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Ballet Theatre.
Beyond the arts, he was keenly interested in science and its capacity to ease human suffering. His signature initiative in this area was what he called a “moon shot” campaign to find a cure for cancer. His donations produced huge advances in cancer research.
David also had a passion to preserve individual liberty. He committed himself to supporting causes and candidates that empowered individuals by decreasing government control. He was more than willing to tackle contentious issues, but eager to do so in a way that accentuated common ground rather than divisiveness. As just one example, he was a major force behind the decades-long prison reform movement, which he approached by building a coalition of activists from across the political spectrum.
David Koch fully appreciated the importance and beauty of the arts and sciences, but he prized individual liberty and free markets perhaps even more highly, as he recognized these as the great engines driving advances in both realms. His legacy, founded on these important values, will endure.