Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Warren Edward Buffett
Born In: Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Famous As: Business Magnate, Investor, Philanthropist
Height: 1.78 MFamily:
Spouse/Ex-: Astrid Menks (M. 2006), Susan Buffett (M. 1952–2004)
Father: Howard Buffett
Children: Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett, Susan Alice Buffett
U.S. State: Nebraska
City: Omaha, Nebraska
One of the world’s wealthiest people and perhaps the most influential philanthropists of our times, Warren Buffett does not really need an introduction. He is the chairman, CEO and the largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha. He is much respected by his peers and the world alike for his personal frugality and adherence to ethical principles when it comes to successful business management. Called the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, Buffett rose from a modest beginning to become one of the richest men on earth through his sheer hard work and keen sense of investing. He started demonstrating his financial abilities from his early years when he would go from door to door selling candies and soft drinks. He began investing as a teenager and had saved almost $10,000 dollars by the age of 20. He had great business acumen and started out on his career as a stock broker. He developed his own investment principles which helped him acquire a lot of wealth; he was already a millionaire by the time he was in his early thirties. As his wealth grew, so did his desire to give back to the society—he is a notable philanthropist and has pledged to give away a significant portion of his fortunes to charity.
Childhood & Early Life
- He was one of the three children of Howard and Leila Buffett. He had two sisters. His father was a four-term U.S. congressman.
- He started his education at the Rose Hill Elementary School before shifting to Alice Deal Junior High School. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947.
- He had acute business sense even as a small child; he used to earn money by selling chewing gum and soft drinks. As a teenager, he became involved in a number of money making ventures and also started saving and investing his money.
- He enrolled at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 where he studied for two years. He shifted to University of Nebraska–Lincoln from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
- He attended Columbia Business School and earned a Master of Science in economics in 1951. There he had the privilege of attending classes taught by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd.
- He worked at his father’s company, Buffett-Falk & Co. from 1951 to 1954 as an investment salesman. By the age of 20, he had already amassed savings worth almost $10,000 in 1950 — this showed what an astute investor he was.
- He was appointed at a starting salary of $12,000 a year at Benjamin Graham’s partnership in 1954. His boss was a difficult man to work with and expected strict adherence to conventional rules of investing which Buffett’s young mind questioned.
- Benjamin Graham retired and closed his partnership in 1956. By this time Buffett had a large amount of personal savings with which he opened Buffett Partnership Ltd., an investment partnership in Omaha.
- He started operating several other partnerships and by the end of the decade he had seven partnerships operating. He became a millionaire in 1962 as a result of his earnings from all his partnerships.
- He merged all the partnerships into one and invested in a textile manufacturing firm called Berkshire Hathaway. He began purchasing the shares of Berkshire Hathaway aggressively during the early 1960s and eventually took over the control of the company.
- During the late 1960s he shifted the business from textile into the insurance sector and by 1985 the last of the textile mills under Berkshire Hathaway had been sold off.
- Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 12% stake in Salomon Inc. in 1987 and became its largest shareholder; Buffett became its director. Following a scandal in 1990, John Gutfreund the CEO of Salomon Brothers left the company in 1991. Buffett took over as chairman till the crisis passed.
- Buffett began buying stocks in Coca-Cola Company in 1988 eventually purchasing up to 7% of the company for $1.02 billion. It would prove to be one of Berkshire’s best ever investments.
- He entered in $11 billion worth of forward contracts to deliver U.S. dollars against other currencies in 2002. He had earned over $2 billion by April 2006.
- In June 2006, Buffett made an announcement that he would be gradually giving away 85% of his Berkshire holdings to five foundations, the largest contribution of which would go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- He became the richest person in the world in 2008 with a total net worth estimated at $62 billion by Forbes, overtaking Bill Gates who had been the No.1 on Forbes list for the past 13 years. The very next year, Gates regained the first position and Buffett moved to second place.
Awards & Achievements
- He was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.
- He is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and ranks among the world’s wealthiest people. Considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century, he is also the biggest philanthropists of our times and had pledged to donate most of his fortunes to social causes.
Personal Life & Legacy
- He married Susan Thompson in 1952. The couple had three children. Susan left him in 1977 to pursue her own career and started living separately. They never divorced and remained legally married till Susan’s death in 2004.
- He married his longtime partner, Astrid Menks in 2006; the couple had known each other from the time his first wife left him.
- He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2012 and has successfully completed his treatment.
- He believes in giving back to the society and has pledged to give away the major portion of his wealth to charity, with 83% of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.