The Koch Family is significant for its enormous wealth, business acumen and generous political donations. Charles and David Koch, the two most recognizable members of the family, are worth $40 billion each, according to PBS. While it is difficult to measure their exact political contributions, the Koch brothers' donation network raised more than $400 million during the 2012 Presidential Election.
The Koch Family's wealth comes from Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the United States, which makes products such as chemicals, fertilizers, toilet paper and fuel. The four Koch brothers inherited Koch Industries when their father, Fred Koch, passed away. However, two of them sold their stake in 1983, leaving Charles and David in control, notes PBS.
A total of 17 Koch-affiliated groups raised $400 million during the 2012 election cycle, reports The Washington Post. Charles and David Koch created these groups to stop the federal government from getting too big. They hire staff, produce ads, and fund political campaigns on the state and national level to affect government policies.
Charles and David Koch credit their father for instilling libertarian ideals in them from a very young age, explains PBS. Fred Koch spent time in Russia during the 1930s, which led to his extreme dislike of communism and big government.