Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



'Sons of Wichita' looks at Koch upbringing, reveals gay brother
by Sarah Toce

This article shared 4404 times since Wed Jun 25, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynastytakes a look into the lives of Charles and David Koch—the Koch Brothers—as they embark on purchasing political campaigns and creating their own version of America. Along the way, the book provides a gay brother reveal and some stories that will make your skin crawl backward.

Written by Mother Jones senior editor Daniel Schulman, the in-depth biography spirals through hundreds of interviews with family members, friends and supporters in an effort to paint a picture of what life most certainly resembled from inside the Koch clan at the beginning of their reign. Legal documents and public records are scattered between the covers in an effort to unveil whatever indignities are left behind.

At the center of the story is the unwavering Fred Koch—the aggravated father to Charles, David, Frederick and David's twin brother, Bill; and husband to Mary. A myriad of appalling scenarios ensue—one in which Fred uses his religious and social beliefs to pit the children against one another. Being a former boxer himself, Fred encourages his sons to "fight like men" and put their fists up proudly. Schulman writes that "during one bout, Bill bashed his twin over the head with a polo mallet," adding that "David still bears a scar from the time Bill pierced him in the back with a ceremonial sword."

The event appeared to leave no tangible mark on Bill, however. A collector of fine wines and women, Bill's competitive sportsmanship earned him the America's Cup in 1992 for yachting. He equated this historical moment to resembling "10,000 orgasms."

But perhaps most notable in the entire tome is what happened to Frederick. Simply stated, he was gay … and homosexuality was not a family value in the Koch household.

A family friend remarks in Sons of Wichita that Fred feared he had been too kind to Freddie, and that's why he turned out to be so effeminate.

"I think Fred Koch went through this kind of thing that 'I must have been too affectionate; I must have been too loving, too kind to Freddie, and that's why he turned out to be so effeminate,'" said John Damgard, who went to high school with David and remains close with David and Charles. "So he was really, really tough on Charles."

Schulman writes: "Fred and Mary Koch's oldest son, Frederick, a lover of theater and literature, left Wichita for boarding school after 7th grade and barely looked back. Charles, the rebellious number two, was molded from an early age as Fred's successor."

Frederick currently preserves a plethora of historic homes around the world, boasting priceless art collections and fanciful remedies that only he knows about. His alignment with the other Koch brothers is a severed connection, to put it mildly, and his personal whereabouts are not for public consumption.

What happened to Charles in his early adulthood served to mold the entire Koch legacy as we see it today.

"After eight years at MIT and a consulting firm, Charles returned to Wichita to learn the intricacies of the family business. Together, he and David would build their father's Midwestern company whichas of 1967 had $250 millionin yearly sales and 650 employees, into a corporate Goliath with $115 billion in annual revenue and a presence in 60 countries. Under their leadership, Koch Industries grew into the second-largest private corporation in the United States ( only the Minneapolis-based agribusiness giant Cargill is bigger )," Schulman writes.

The money kept on rolling in.

The book states, "David and Charles amassed fortunes estimated at $41 billion apiece, tying them for sixth place among the wealthiest people on the planet. ( Bill ranks 377th onForbes' list of the world's billionaires. ) The company's products would come to touch everyone's lives, from the gas in our tanks and the steak on our forks to the paper towels in our pantries. But it preferred to operate quietly—in David's words, to be 'the biggest company you've never heard of.'"

Flying under the radar appeared to catapult the Tea Party movement and sink the GOP simultaneously, and members could ( quietly ) thank David and Charles for that. One thing they could not solidify, though: the U.S. presidency.

Schulman writes, "After backing a constellation of conservatives, from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to South Carolina's Jim DeMint, Charles and David mounted their most audacious political effort to date in the2012 presidential campaign, when their fundraising network unleashed an estimated $400 million via a web of conservative advocacy groups."

"Just as their father, a founding member of the John Birch Society, had once decried the country's descent toward communism during the Kennedy era, the brothers saw America veering toward socialism under President Obama. Charles, entering his late 70s, had not only failed to see American society transformed into his libertarian ideal; with this new administration, things seemed to be moving in the exact opposite direction," Schulman writes. "Now he and David, along with other allies, would wage what he described as the"mother of all wars"to defeat Obama and hand Republicans ironclad congressional majorities."

Still, try as they might, David and Charles could not sink the Black man from Chicago as he raced for the top political spot in the United States.

But would their distaste come as any surprise? Racial injustice was ingrained into the Koch household from the beginning. The book recalls Fred's warning of a "vicious race war" in which communists would pit Black Americans against white.

Infighting and outfighting seemed to be the Koch Brothers' way.

Schulman recalls in the book that Bill hired a private investigator to bug his brothers' offices and pick through the garbage cans at their homes. He planted false memos aimed at rooting out spies in his own company, Oxbow, who he suspected were secretly working for his brothers.

Regardless of how the Koch brothers' activities have imploded on those around them, one thing's for sure: It's been anything but boring in the ring of terror they've so diligently created for the rest of us.

This article shared 4404 times since Wed Jun 25, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

StoryStudio Chicago's LGBTQ+ nonfiction writing class starting Aug. 17 2022-08-11
- StoryStudio Chicago is offering a unique writing class titled "June Is Not Enough: An LGBTQ+ Nonfiction Writing Class." The idea behind the class is to promote and foster the work of LGBTQ+ people. Writers who register ...

Gay News

Journalist Chuck Colbert passes away at 67 2022-08-08
- Journalist Charles "Chuck" R. Colbert—who had written for several LGBTQ+ publications, including Windy City Times—passed away June 30. He was 67. He was a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to his biography on ...

Gay News

BOOKS Inside Sinkhole, a darkly comic coming-of-age fiction 2022-08-06
- Davida G. Breier's debut book, Sinkhole, takes readers on a trip to rural Florida in the 1980s. Amidst golf courses, mobile homes and alligators, some things on the agenda: friendship, identity, sexuality, grief and murder. Breier ...

Gay News

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries 2022-08-02
- A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted. A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Miami textbooks, Lia Thomas, Florida churches, Key West figure dies 2022-07-24
- Miami-Dade County students could go months without sex-education books after school board members, by a five-to-four vote, rejected two proposed textbooks over concerns they violate the state's Parental Rights in Education bill, known by opponents as ...

Gay News

Local non-binary poet wins Stories Matter Scholarship 2022-07-21
- The Stories Matter Foundation and StoryStudio Chicago have awarded the annual $1,500 Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund tuition grant to local non-binary poet A. Ng Pavel. The scholarship is awarded each year to a writer working ...

Gay News

John Pennycuff's memorial library at Unity Park is graffitied 2022-07-10
- The John Pennycuff Little Library, at Chicago's Unity Park, was recently sprayed with graffiti. Robert Castillo, Pennycuff's surviving husband, stated on Facebook that some tried to cover the original tagging with their own rainbow-hued graffiti. ...

Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions 2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: WNDR Museum, Prince, queer books, flowers 2022-06-16
- — WNDR Museum's Pride event "Crafting with Queens": The West Loop museum is usually entertainment and, um, wondrous enough on its own—but during Pride Month, WNDR is queering things up with "Crafting with Queens" on Tuesday, ...

Gay News

Northwestern University Libraries and Center for Applied Transgender Studies launch trans studies journal 2022-06-16
- Northwestern University Libraries (NUL) and the Center for Applied Transgender Studies (CATS) are now publishing the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies. The Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies (BATS)—the first journal ...

Gay News

Catholic publisher cancels Chicago theologian's 'Queer God de Amor' book 2022-06-13
- On June 9, New Ways Ministry received the following statement by Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago. ...

Gay News

34th annual Lambda Literary award winners announced 2022-06-13
-- From a press release - New York, NY, June 11, 2022 — Lambda Literary, the nation's premier LGBTQ literary organization, announced the winners of the 34th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the "Lammys") at a live virtual award ceremony hosted by ...

Gay News

TRAVEL Descanso is Palm Springs newest gay resort 2022-06-08
- Descanso is the first resort for gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and "The response has been beyond expectations," said general manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, ...

Gay News

BOOKS Artist Sam Kirk talks 'The Meaning of Pride' 2022-06-08
- In the children's book The Meaning of Pride, Rosiee Thor pens an ode to LGBTQ+ culture and identity by celebrating the beauty, significance and many dimensions of the concept of Pride—and showing that the word can ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart unveils Pride Month events with 'Drag,' 'Bad Gays,' sneak peek 2022-05-30
- Gerber/Hart Library has revealed the events it will host for Pride Month. —On Saturday, June 4, at 3 p.m., Gerber/Hart will celebrate the release of Legends of Drag: Queens of a Certain Age with Unabridged Books ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.