Depending on the calculation, Koch’s assets are estimated at $ 42 billion to $ 52 billion. This means that she is only just behind L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers and the Walmart– Heiress Alice Walton.
The reason for the sudden wealth: Her husband had died at the age of 79 last year – and had left her a rich legacy. David Koch was one of the richest and most influential entrepreneurs in the United States. Together with his older brother Charles, he held 42 percent of the family company Koch Industries.
It is one of the largest privately held companies in the world, with 130,000 employees and around $ 110 billion in sales, that not only operates refineries and pipelines, but also does business in the chemical, electronics, paper, and finance industries.
In one fell swoop, Julia Koch has also become a central figure in US politics. According to the New York Times, the Koch brothers have donated at least $ 100 million since the 1970s to political movements, conservative Republican candidates, or think tanks that strengthen the right wing in the United States.
Among other things, they supported the rise of the tea party. In the 1980s, David Koch even tried to go into politics himself, but failed.
I returned to the 1950s. Julia Flesher Koch (on the fact that she quit her job after the wedding)
At that time, he did not yet know his later wife Julia. Born in the rural state of Iowa, she didn’t come to New York until the late 1980s. There she worked for some time as an assistant to the fashion designer Adolfo, who then dressed Nancy Reagan.
Julia Koch quickly gained access to the city’s high society; in the early 1990s, for example, she was photographed at popular events such as the Benefit Gala of the Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum
She met her future husband on a blind date that friends had organized for her in 1991. She later said to friends about the tête-à-tête: “I am glad to have met this man. So I know that I will never go out with him again. ”But apparently it was love at second glance. They met again six months later – and this time it sparked.
Already two years after the date she stopped working in order to dedicate her time to David Koch before the wedding in 1996. “I returned to the 1950s,” she joked about her new role. In 1996, the 33-year-old married the 23-year-old billionaire in the Hamptons – the place on Long Island where the wealthy New Yorkers have their summer residences.
The two later had three children, the eldest son goes to college today.
Important position thanks to “Vogue” boss Anna Wintour
With the wedding, nothing stood in the way of her steep rise to high society in New York. Instead of just being an invited guest, she was the co-chairwoman of the famous Met Gala in the Metropolitan Museum at the age of 34. The “Vogue” boss and fashion legend Anna Wintour had personally selected her for the post.
Rich donors and celebrities like Madonna sat in the audience. Sting sang homage to Gianni Versace. The fact that her husband David was one of the donors to the Metropolitan Museum certainly didn’t hurt.
She made a name for herself as a charity lady. On her own website Juliakoch.com, she presents herself as President of the David H. Koch Foundation. There is no talk of politics, but of science and medical research, of education and art, into which $ 200 million went.
Real estate in New York, the Hamptons, Aspen and Florida with a value of $ 143 million has now also passed into the possession of Julia Koch. In New York, the family lived in an 18-room apartment on Fifth Avenue – in a luxury house where other billionaires, such as US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, also live.
Julia Koch has not yet stood out as an entrepreneur. The family company is still in the hands of Charles Koch, who heads him as CEO and Chairman. His 42-year-old son Chase Koch is considered a potential successor.
More: 2020 Forbes List: These are the richest people in the world