Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

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NEW YORK-Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers' network of business and political activities.

"In October 2016, David announced that, 'Over the summer I was hospitalized and I am now suffering from declining health...' Unfortunately, these issues have not been resolved and his health has continued to deteriorate".

Baxter also said he had no doubt that the network will continue to thrive without David Koch.

David Koch will now become director emeritus at Koch Industries.

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David Koch was diagnosed with prostate cancer 25 years ago, and he has given vast sums toward cancer research since then.

In 1980, Koch ran was the Libertarian Party's nominee for vice president, along with Ed Clark, its' presidential pick.

Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala 2015 celebrating the opening of "China: Through the Looking Glass", in Manhattan, New York May 4, 2015.

Koch, 78, and his older brother, Charles, are the key drivers behind a juggernaut political network that has often favored conservative and libertarian politicians and policies, such as tax cuts. In recent years, Charles Koch has been the face of the political machine that includes Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans for America and the Libre Initiative.

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Through a constellation of aligned groups, the network still plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 election cycle.

After pointedly declining to support Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, the Koch brothers made a decision to embrace pieces of the administration's policy agenda after he won the election. About how his brother is dealing with his illness, Charles said, "David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way". He is a resident of New York City. His David H. Koch Center at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which he donated $100 million to, opened in April, and his outpatient cancer center at Memorial Sloan Kettering is on track to open in 2019.

David Koch is leaving his roles as executive vice president and board member for Koch Industries and a subsidiary, Koch Chemical Technology group, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. He has focused many of his philanthropic efforts on finding a cure for prostate cancer, including with contributions of almost $600 million to medical research and institutions.

In a statement Tuesday about Koch's departure, Holden said network officials "greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success". Koch Industries is the country's second-largest private company after Cargill and makes everything from components in iPhones to Brawny paper towels.

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