Warren Buffett

Investor, Philanthropist

Stats:

Lived:
August 30, 1930 - Present

Birth Place:
Omaha, Nebraska

Famous:

Chief Accomplishment:
Considered one of the most successful investors of the 20th century.

Other Notable Accomplishments:

Chairman, CEO, and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, which oversees and manages companies like Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Heinz, Mars, and GEICO.

One of the creators of The Giving Pledge, responsible for 40+ billionaires pledging to give at least half of their wealth to charity. The Giving Pledge "is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the world to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy."

Personally pledged that more than 99% of his wealth will go to philanthropy during his lifetime or at the time of his death, making him one of the biggest charitable donors in history.

Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Was on the Board of Directors for The Washington Post for 37 years.

Freethinker:

Never Give Up. An article in WIRED about Warren Allen Smith, the creator of the website Philosopedia, discusses how Smith has spent six decades writing people to ask if they believe in God. He's received a variety of responses, and Buffett's came back, scrawled on a postcard with a one word answer: "Agnostic." "[Buffett] did not subscribe to his family's religion. Even at a young age, he was too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith. He adopted his father's ethical underpinnings, but not his belief in an unseen divinity."

Privilege Received. Acknowledging privilege when he sees it, Buffett has said, "My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery. (For starters, the odds against my 1930 birth taking place in the U.S. were at least 30 to 1. My being male and white also removed huge obstacles that a majority of Americans then faced)."

Sustainable Government. Buffett is an advocate for a political system that is more sustainable. He says, "I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than three percent of GDP [gross domestic product], all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for reelection."

Interesting Facts:

Back in 1963, American Express bought into a neat little scheme that shipper cooked up, where instead of shipping boats full of cooking oil, he filled them with water and put a bit of oil on top to make the barrels look full. When it was found out that the oil was fake, American Express' market shares dropped to nearly half. That's when Buffett bought up a bunch of shares and turned it into his first huge profit.

Buffett still lives in the five-bedroom stucco house that he bouthg in 1957 for $30,000.

In 2014, Forbes magazine reported Buffett's net worth at $65 billion dollars.

Buffett does not carry a cell phone, does not have a computer at his desk, and drives his own automobile.