In the year 1927, Fred C. Koch, for whom Koch Industries, Inc. is named, developed an improved method of converting heavy oil into gasoline. Beginning there, his entrepreneurial drive laid the foundation for what today is one of the largest privately held companies in America, now present in fifty countries and employing 30,000 people. Charles G. Koch, who began working at his father's business in 1961 and is now chairman and chief executive officer, has authored this history of the beginnings and evolution of the corporation. Vigorous Koch companies supply communities with energy to heat and cool their buildings, manufacture fibers for carpets and garments, make wood pulp for items as diverse as baby diapers and postage stamps, and offer financial services that promote economic growth. Koch supplies chemical building blocks for manufacturing such varied products as CDs and athletic shoes, tires and PVC pipe, adhesives and beverage bottles. Founder Fred C.
Koch, an outdoorsman who grew up in Texas ranching country, entered the cattle ranching business in 1950 and founded the Matador Cattle Company, a division of Koch Agriculture Company, which annually markets about 5 million pounds of beef. Charles G. Koch, an engineer by training, has traced the success of the corporation to the development and implementation of the theories of Market Based Management, about which he is invited to lecture in university and business settings across the United States. Mr. Koch believes that Principled Entrepreneurship[trademark] is the duty of those in business, and he has focused for forty years on developing voluntary, market-based solutions to societal problems. He is recognized for his highly-principled conduct in the world of business, and has received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America.