Hundreds of people have taken to Twitter to post cruel messages celebrating the death of billionaire conservative David Koch.
Even celebrities, including Bette Midler, got in on the action on Friday morning, following news that the 79-year-old had passed away.
Along with his brother, Charles, David built his fortune as the co-owner of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the US. Both men had an estimated fortune of $50.5 billion, tying them as the equal 11th richest men in the world.
The Koch brothers have been among the biggest donors to the Republican Party since the 1980s- attracting the ire of many liberals, some of whom celebrated David’s death on Twitter.
On Friday, Bette Middler, who hasn’t been shy in sharing her political opinions, posted a cruel Tweet calling it ‘wistful thinking’ that she believed that Charles had also passed away.
‘I tweeted #CharlesKoch had died, instead of #DavidKochIsDEAD. I’m sorry to give others false hope. Guess it was just wistful thinking. As we watch the Amazon Rainforest burning, all the #GlobalWarming culprits are foremost in one’s mind,’ the 73-year-old wrote.
Later, she lashed out conservative think tank president Kay Coles James, who paid tribute to David on her own Twitter account by describing him as ‘a friend of liberty’.
‘With all due respect, Ms. James, f**k you. A ‘friend of liberty’. Yes, his own and his family’s. The rest of us can drink leaded water and burn in the climate change he produced,’ Midler raged.
The Hocus Pocus actress wasn’t the only person to celebrate the death of David on Friday.
Others posted mean tweets in which they, too, taunted Charles, who is aged 83, about his future death.
Writer Sandra Newman wrote: ‘Today Charles Koch is learning how overjoyed the world will be when he dies’.
Meanwhile, former Democratic candidate for Florida’s 18th Congressional District – who lost her primary bid in 2018 – wrote that she ‘pitied’ the late David Koch.
‘Good riddance Mr. Koch… The world fills a smidge lighter w/out you.’
However, not all outspoken Democrats and left-wing activists agreed.
Alyssa Milano – who is known for being an outspoken progressive – chided those who were posting gleeful messages.
‘Celebrating a man’s death while fighting to abolish the death penalty is a bad look for Democrats/humans’, she posted.
Elsewhere, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro claimed the mean tweets were ‘a perfect example of how poisonous our politics have become.’
David Koch is survived by his wife, Julia, and their three children: David Jr, Mary Julia, and John Mark.
On Friday, Julia Koch said in a statement: ‘While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart. His stories of childhood adventures enlivened our family dinners; his endless knowledge rendered him our “walking Google”.
‘His sensitive heart had him shed a tear at the beauty of his daughter’s ballet, and beam with pride when his son beat him at chess. We will miss the fifth link in our family.’
David Koch built his fortune with Koch Industries, an oil, chemical and textiles conglomerate, based in the brothers’ hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
It is currently the second-largest privately held company in the US, with Charles, the current CEO, saying it would go public ‘literally over my dead body’, reported The Economist.
In June 2018, David stepped down from the company, citing health issues.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992, which be battled on and off for years. At the time, he was given five months to live.
‘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’s statement read.
‘We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result.’
According to Forbes magazine, David Koch’s net worth was $50.5billion at the time of his death making him the 11th richest person in the world – tied with his brother.
He was reportedly the seventh richest person in the US – tied with Charles again – and the wealthiest resident of New York City.
The brothers’ combined wealth is believed to have exceeded the wealth of the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon.com Inc.
In addition to New York City, David Koch had homes in Southampton, New York, Aspen, Colorado, and Palm Beach, Florida.
The brothers began their political journey backing hard-line Libertarian causes in the late seventies, culminating in David’s run as the vice-presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket in the 1980 presidential election.
He and presidential candidate Ed Clark ran on a platform that called for the abolition of Social Security, the IRS, the Federal Reserve, the FBI, the CIA and the Environmental Protection Agency.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Andrew Court and Mary Kekatos