Charles Koch & David Koch

TIME 100 2015 Koch Brothers Charles Koch David Koch
David Koch: Keith Major—Contour by Getty Images; Charles Koch: Jamie Kripke—Forbes Collection/Corbis Outline

Idea men

Charles and David Koch are well known for their business success, their generous philanthropic efforts and for their focus on innovation in management. Some also know them for their activism in the political realm. All of these are important contributions to society. What is underappreciated is their passion for freedom and their commitment to ideas. Unlike many crony capitalists who troll the halls of Congress looking for favors, the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics.

For decades they have funded institutes that promote ideas, not politics, such as Cato and the Mercatus Center. They have always stood for freedom, equality and opportunity. Consistent with their love of liberty, they have become prominent advocates for criminal-justice reform. The Koch brothers’ investment in freedom-loving think tanks will carry on for generations, reminding all of us that ideas and convictions ultimately trump all else.

Paul is a U.S. Senator and a 2016 presidential candidate

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