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August 23, 2019
MIT alumnus and MIT Corporation life member emeritus David H. Koch has died at age 79. After receiving the SB (1962) and SM (1963) in chemical engineering at MIT, Koch joined his family’s business, Koch Industries, in 1970. He became president of Koch Engineering in 1979 and served as executive vice president of Koch Industries until he retired for health reasons in 2018.
Koch’s death follows a long battle with prostate cancer, first diagnosed in 1992. Koch has said his experience with the disease encouraged him to become a “passionate crusader” for cancer research. The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research stands as a legacy to that passion. His $100 million gift in 2007 enabled MIT to establish the Koch Institute and begin construction of its home in Building 76, where scientists and engineers work together under one roof in pursuit of powerful, new ways to diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent cancer.
“David’s magnificent gift paved the way for our building, for numerous professorships held by our faculty, and for our unique approach to cancer research,” said Tyler Jacks, director of the Koch Institute and David H. Koch Professor of Biology. “I will always be profoundly grateful for his vision and generosity.” Read more.