Bill Koch is the founder of the largest oil refining by-product distribution company, Oxbow Carbon, and has over 1,200 employees. He is known as an art lover and has an impressive private collection, perhaps the most diverse in the world.
Even in the case of properties, it is not bad, having houses in Colorado, Florida or Massachusetts. But the most valuable of them is in Aspen, a property that is valued at $90 million.
He is also known for investing in a private high school in West Palm Beach and winning the America’s Cup Sailing Race in 1993.
He Was Called Crazy in Court
Koch has two famous and rich brothers, Charles and David Koch, who have a fairly impressive fortune of $41.5 billion. They were the ones who called him “crazy” in court and accused him of being jealous of them. He always had the nickname “the other Koch”.
Bill Koch did not have great results at school, but now he has become one of the most active donors in Florida’s political world. We cannot confirm his “madness”, but we can see that he has entered into many conflicts throughout his life, including with his family.
Putting the Family in the Spotlight
Charles Koch was the one who took over the family business, which deals with oil. Slowly, it turned everything into something much bigger and more diverse, which is now called Koch Industries, with over 60,000 employees. The company deals with chemicals, oil, and paper, has huge annual revenues, and is ranked 2nd in the top of private companies in America.
Charles also flirted with politics, in the sense that he encouraged David, Bill’s twin brother, to run for the Libertarian Party as vice president in 1980.
How Bill Koch Was Perceived
The relationship between Charles and his younger brother, Bill, has almost always been strained. Charles said of Bill that he was stupid, ungrateful, and not working hard enough. Bill also attracted Freddie, the eldest of the brothers, and persuaded him to sell his shares in the company, earning $790 million ($470 million for Bill and $320 million for Freddie).
It only took two years for Bill to consider that he had been wronged in the amount he received and filed a lawsuit against his brother, Charles. The dispute between the two lasted 16 years, and many millions of dollars were spent in the 10 lawsuits that took place.
This dispute was not appreciated at all in the media. It was even called “perhaps the most miserable way of doing family business in history.”
He Was Taken Out of the Will
Charles and David argued in court that Bill is mentally unstable and that their company even paid for the services of a psychologist, hoping that this will help Bill. Their mother was also present at the trial, who asked Bill not to destroy the family because she would not take him into account when writing the will. She suffered a stroke, and a week after the accident, Bill Koch’s lawyers decided to give up.
Raised in Wichita, Kansas, Bill Koch described his childhood as a family competition and said that when he was a child, he was a fool, a nerd, and a skinny man. Bill was very jealous of his siblings from an early age, and his parents had to send Charles to military school from the age of four. “He could never control his emotions,” his mother said in an interview.
The war of statements between Charles and Bill continued almost indefinitely, and Bill never ceased to consider himself in a contest with his brother. All his brothers consider him “obsessed with money”, while he is always right and fights for any victory, regardless of the consequences.
Bill Koch is living proof that no matter how old you are and how much money you have, the wounds of childhood are hard to remove. Bill could never admit “defeat” against Charles.
Besides all this, we are once again shown that jealousy is not useful in a family and can make some people blind. It seems that money could be indeed one of the most recurring problems when it comes to family disputes.