Warren Buffett, was the richest man in the world in 2008. But despite his fortune, the American investor remains dedicated to the ethics of business by upholding the personal and financial standards he learned as a child in Nebraska.
Warren Buffett’s Early Days
Warren Edward Buffett was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska. He grew up with a knack for making money: at age 11, he bought his first stock in Cities Service. At 14, he bought some farmland in Nebraska and collected rent from a tenant farmer. He also ran a highly organized paper route and co-created Wilson Coin Operated Machine Co., a pinball machine business.
Buffett got his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska after studying for several years at Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. He then applied to Harvard Business School but was rejected, ending up instead at Columbia
Sources in this Story
- Forbes: Warren Buffett
- Forbes: The world’s billionaires
- The Independent: Warren Buffett: The secret of the billionaire’s success
- Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
- CNBC: Growing up Buffett: Warren Buffett’s Children
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Warren Buffett
- Buffett Donates $3.17 Bullion to Gates Charity, Four Others
- The Giving Pledge: About
Buffett’s Notable Accomplishments
Buffett was named the richest man in the world in 2008. His fortune reached approximately $62 billion. As of 2017, he is second on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $77.3 billion.
His investing principles, according to a profile in The Independent, are to invest in well-run companies, reinvest those profits, and to never borrow money.
Though Buffett has made his fortune investing in a wide variety of companies, his own venture, Berkshire Hathaway, is by far the most lucrative. Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiary companies include International Dairy Queen, Inc., Geico Auto Insurance and See’s Candy.
The Man and His Work
- “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition”
- “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life”
- “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,” by Roger Lowenstein
The Rest of the Story
Perhaps one of Buffett’s biggest accomplishments is raising down-to-earth children. According to CNBC, the Buffet kids, Howard, Susie and Peter, “were never really aware their dad was anyone special. Howard says life was just like it was for all his friends.” Though each child will receive money to invest philanthropically, Buffett will not leave his kids huge personal inheritances.
In 2006, Buffett announced plans to give away much of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. According to Forbes, Buffett has given away $32 billion so far. In 2010, he, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates started The Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires around the world to pledge to engage in philanthropy. After donating $3.17 billion to various charities, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in July 2017, he moved to fourth on the Forbes list, according to U.S. News and World Report.
This article was originally written by Isabel Cowles; it was updated August 27, 2017.