Home 5 Class of 2015 5 DAVID C. KOCH


David Koch, the former Chief Executive of New Era, had an intuitive mind for business, coupled with strong leadership abilities. He transformed the Koch family’s modest operation into a thriving headwear manufacturer. Under his leadership, New Era grew from a company supplying a few baseball teams with caps to supplying every Major League Baseball team and their Minor League affiliates with its 59FIFTY fitted cap. It was David’s dedication to building relationships with partners like MLB that helped create the reputation New Era has today.

A sports enthusiast himself, David was an avid member of the Kensington High School swim team and a pole vaulter on the track squad. He continued his athletic career at Colgate and the University at Buffalo, where he was a member of the swim teams at both institutions.

David began his career at New Era at the age of 22 by hand-stitching wool baseball caps alongside his father, Harold. By 1972, he was named the CEO of the company.

Along the way, he became a dedicated golfer. Currently, the company holds an annual golf event in his honor and, during the past 13 years, it has raised over $3 million dollars to support cancer research.

In 2002, David passed away at the age of 66 after battling with cancer. Shortly after, The David C. Koch Regional Profusion Cancer Therapy Center was established in memoriam of David at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, serving as a tribute to the courage, strength and humility with which David lived his life.

David and his wife, Valerie, have four children, Cheri, Glenn, Karl, and Chris.