Harry Koch, Jr., Class of 1947

Posted on November 13th, 20187:54 pm


Harry Koch, Jr., Class of 1947

Koch helped build one of the region’s largest independent insurance companies while also contributing much to Omaha civic life. After graduating from Princeton University, Koch commanded an artillery battery during the Korean War. Four years after returning home, he was pressed to take over the family insurance business when his father suffered a heart attack. He was only 28. But in four decades as president and CEO he would lead the Harry A. Koch Company into a new era, modernizing its systems, expanding into new lines and doubling its workforce, all as the number of independent firms nationally shrunk by more than half. His leadership in the industry was recognized in 1995 when he was named president of the National Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. He spent an eventful year leading the group, overseeing industry efforts to save staggering industry giant Cigna. After turning the firm over to his sons, Koch was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame. He was a major benefactor behind two Omaha parks attractions, a shooting range named for his father and the tennis center at Tranquility Park named for him and his wife Gail. For all his contributions to Omaha, Koch in 1997 was named king of Ak-Sar-Ben.