In the beginning there were four Koch brothers–sons of Fred Koch, wildcat billionaire oil tycoon. Charles was born in 1935, and twins Bill and David came five years later in 1940. And then there was the “other” brother, Frederick, who died this week at the age of 86.
Unlike Charles and David who invested billions of the inheritance in funding Republican causes, or Bill, who broke away from the Koch family business to create his own enterprises, Frederick was a gentler breed. It was an open secret that he was gay, though he never publicly confirmed his homosexuality.
Frederick spent his life in purposeful obscurity, buying art, rare books, and a vast collection of real estate. At the time of his death from heart failure at his lavish apartment at 825 Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, he also owned the Donahue Woolworth mansion at 6 East 80th Street, a completely renovated seven-story townhouse, which, while he never slept there, was a magnificent depository for Koch’s art collection. Among his favorite pieces was a marble sculpture of Antinous, the gay lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
Koch also owned Schloss Blühnbach, a palatial hunting lodge just south of Salzburg, Austria, that once belonged to Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the Romanesque Villa Torre Clementina in Cap Martin, France; and Elm Court, a Tudor Gothic Mansion In Butler, Pennsylvania.
He left his entire multibillion dollar estate to the Frederick R. Koch Foundation.