Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Koch Brothers: A Study in Birth Order


                               Seated:  Charles      Fred        Mary       Fredrick
                               Standing:    David                              William




There have been few American families that have been
as politically influential than the Koch family.  They own
the second largest private corporation in America. The
four Koch brothers are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest
people in America. Their desire to keep a low profile
working behind the scenes has been breached by family
quarrels that began in childhood.  Birth order interactions
were allowed to “work” themselves out by parents that had
other interests that superseded their sons. Bill the youngest
said the situation at home was “more like the movie Lord of
the Flies” that brought out the basic instincts of survival
among the brothers. This allowed their birth orders full
expression. Each birth order has its own expression and
the quest for power over the other sibling continues into
adulthood.

The Start: First two Generations
Fred C Koch was born September 23, 1900 to a penniless
Dutch immigrant Harry Koch. Harry became a newspaper
Owner in Quanah Texas a small town with less than
 2,000 people.  His older brother John Anton Koch was
born in1898.  John followed into the family business but
Fred took another course as the second son often does.
Fred started college in Texas where he learned to box,
this may have helped release his stress. He later went to
MIT where he graduated with an engineering degree.
While at MIT he and a friend invented a thermal cracking
process for turning crude oil to gasoline. They tried to sell
the process to the American oil industry but were rejected.   
In 1930, Russia was looking to modernize their oil industry
and welcomed their help. The Russian government paid
them well but this relationship did not last. Fred developed
a hatred for Communism and was instrumental in the
birth of the John Birch Society, an anti-Communist group
based in southern California.  He and his partners now had
the money to start their own oil refining business in the
US.  Number 2 birth orders make money so others will
not tell them what to do. They don’t do it for the material
things that money can buy. This was Fred and the start
of Koch Enterprises.

Fred starts a family
Fred married Mary Robinson Koch at age 32, later than
most men at the time. He and Mary had four sons. Frederick
(Fred) 1933, Charles 1935, and the twins David and William
(Bill) in 1940.  Fred and his wife were more obsessed with his
business and her busy social scene than raising the boys and
spending family time together. There was no silver spoon for
these boys. Fred paid them only for chores and did not give
them an allowance. When he was home he ruled the boys
with an iron fist. Most of the time they were left alone to
interact between each other.

The Boys Birth orders
Fredrick was the firstborn, Charles the second born but the
twins born five years after Charles made up a “family” within
the family. The twins interaction was greater between each
other and less with their older brothers. The five year spacing
gave them Double Birth Orders. David, the oldest of the
twins, was the third birth but the oldest in this “second family.”
He has a 3/1 birth order. William (Bill) was the fourth born
(19 minutes younger) but the second in this “second family”
he has a 4/2 birth order. When people have double birth
orders they display characteristics for both birth orders but
not at the same time. Unaware of their dual birth orders they
may find it difficult to control which one is going to appear
and this can cause stress. There is also sibling rivalry between
these two. David has the superior birth order numbers, 3 & 1
 and Bill a 4 & 2 will want to dethrone him.

Fredrick the Firstborn
Fredrick is the firstborn and was named after his father.  As
many fathers, Fred Sr. had plans for his firstborn son to
follow in his footsteps and take over the family business. 
Sometimes the pressure is too great and the firstborn,
he drops out and lets his younger sibling dethrone him
and takes a different course. This is devastating to the
father, especially one so driven as Fred Senior.  Fredrick
 is the shortest of the boys at six foot two. He was closest
to his mother and shared her interest in the arts and was
not athletic. He loved to act and sing. He left home for
boarding school after the 7th grade.  When he was in his
20’s many thought he was gay. In the 60’s the mention of
Fredrick vanished from his father’s biography. Partially
disinherited by his father he now spends his time and
money restoring castles and historical houses.  He has never
married and owns the private photo collection of George
Platt Lynes and Jerome Zerbe focused on homoerotic
imagery. He and youngest brother Bill were bought out of  
Koch Enterprises by their 2nd oldest brother Charles.

Charles the Second Born
Charles has all the characteristics of a second born.  Just like
his second born father he didn’t like to be told what to do.
If there was any sibling rivalry it was short lived. His father
picked him to succeed him by putting a lot of pressure on him
as early as age nine. Charles was rebellious and was kicked
out of many private boarding schools starting at age 11. 
Many say he was a “bad boy” that turned good. In terms of
birth order he now has to act the part of a firstborn but has
the characteristics of a Second born just like his father. When
this is just an act he may go overboard in using his power.
As a #2 material things are not his main interest but being
free of authority is a high priority. He still lives in Wichita
Kansas, eats in the company cafeteria and goes to work
everyday even in his 70’s.  He, like his father is using his
money for political change. He is thought to be the money
behind the “Tea Party” movement and the support of
conservative candidates. Second borns like Bill Gates and
Warren Buffett share this trait and they too will continue
to get wealthier. During the period that brother Bill brought
a lawsuit against the company, Charles shunned his brother.
You don’t tell a number 2 what to do!

David the Older Twin  3/1 birth order
David is 19 minutes older than his younger twin brother.
The twins start another family group because they are
five years younger than Charles. This gives David some
firstborn and third born characteristics. Growing up he
fought a lot with his younger twin.  He seemed to win
more boxing matches so held off any dethroning by his
younger twin. He and Charles are the brothers that run
Koch Enterprises. He would be drawn to Charles who is
acting like a #1 which is part of David’s birth order.  As a
#3 we see David’s charitable side and his interest in
helping those in need on a larger scale. He gives to
hospitals, theaters, art and education. Living in New York
he is thought to be its wealthiest resident. Like his brother
he feels he can change the world with an interest in
politics. In 1980 he ran as VP on the Libertarian ticket. 
He is Chairman of Americans for Prosperity a political
action group that is very conservative. During the law
suit brought by his younger twin David was torn between
loyalty to his twin and his older brother Charles.

William the Younger Twin 4/2 birth order
William or Bill is the true baby in the family. He was the
fourth born.  He also has the number two birth order which
would make him combative. Bill #4 was always jealous of
Charles his #2 brother and even went to the same boarding
school. Of course, he did not know that they shared a birth
order. Someone with a 4/2 birth order would be a
combination of an impulsive child with the “don’t tell me
what to do” of the #2.  These two birth orders together can
make a combustible mix. The baby #4 wants things and the
#2 is ready to fight for them. Bill has been known to be the
“Playboy” of the group and has been married 3 times. 
He won the Americas Cup in Yacht racing in 1992 and is a
collector if art and wine.  Known to have a hair trigger
temper and is quick to sue others if he feels cheated. He
and older brother Fredrick sued Charles and David after he
thought the $800 million buyout was too small.  They lost
the case. During the trial he said he had mixed feelings.
One was purely economic the other emotional attachment
To the company. The lawyer asked, “In the competition
 between the two halves of yourself what won out?” “Get
the highest price” Bill said. This was an open display of his
inner torment trying to balance his two birth orders. Unless
he can understand that he really is two different people and
begin to control his birth orders he will be forever unhappy.

Families and Birth Order
Some parents feel it is their fault that their children do not like
each other and can’t get along.  This is not their fault as you
can see with the Koch brothers.  Because of their great wealth
their personalities were on display in open court. Expressing
their birth orders made them who they are.  All people, if
given enough time will have a life that matches their birth
order.  Those with double birth orders have a more difficult
time balancing their life. It is their Life’s Fingerprint!

For more information on Double Birth Order purchase my
book Life’s Fingerprint: How Birth Order Affect Your Path
Throughout Life, by Dr. Robert V.V. Hurst