Warren Buffett: Bio of the World’s Greatest Businessman

Warren Edward Buffett was born August 30th, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. As a child, Buffett discovered his math skills and interest in money matters. He made his first investment at 11, and due to his paper route filed his first tax return in 1944. Later, he learned fundamental investment rules under famed economists Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. Studying how companies were run he began his own business and became an incredibly successful investor and one of the richest men in the world. Join WatchMojo.com as we learn about the life and accomplishments of Warren Buffet.
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Warren Buffett: Biography of the World’s Greatest Businessman


This businessman is the Oracle of Omaha. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be learning more about the life and accomplishments of Warren Buffet.

Warren Edward Buffett was born August 30th, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. As a child, Buffett discovered his math skills and interest in money matters. He made his first investment at 11, and due to his paper route filed his first tax return in 1944.

In 1950, Buffett earned a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, after also studying at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School. By working full-time through school, he amassed almost $10 thousand in savings.

After his rejection by Harvard Business School due to his young age, Buffett chose Columbia for his graduate studies, where he learned fundamental investment rules under famed economists Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. He then worked at his father's Omaha brokerage firm and in 1952, started a family with new wife, Susan Thompson.

Buffett finally went to work for Ben Graham's New York partnership in 1954, and developed a different ideology than his mentor: Graham only considered numbers when investing, while Buffett also studied how companies were run.

Graham's partnership closed in 1956, so Buffett started his own back in Omaha. There, he met Charlie Munger in 1959, and the two began a valuable business association that lasted decades.

By 1962, “The Oracle of Omaha” was a millionaire. That year, he also merged his several successful partnerships into one, called Buffett Partnership Ltd., and began buying stocks in a small textile manufacturing firm called Berkshire Hathaway.

Buffet continued making bold moves through the '60s: he bought cheap American Express stocks after a fraud scandal, invested in Disney and became the largest shareholder at Berkshire Hathaway.

In 1965, he took control of Berkshire, and with it bought National Indemnity insurance in 1967. The insurance sector proved far more successful than textile operations, which eventually shut down in 1985.

When the Buffett Partnership's assets were divested in 1970, Buffett became Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. That year, he began writing annual letters to shareholders that eventually became famous.

Buffett and Berkshire entered the media business by acquiring stock in the Washington Post Company in 1973, and the American Broadcasting Company in 1979. By 1985, Buffett helped engineer and finance a merger between ABC and Capital Cities, in exchange for a 25 percent share in the new company. By then, Buffett was on the Forbes 400 as one of the world's richest people.

In 1987, Buffett became director of Salomon Brothers after Berkshire became the company's largest shareholder. However, the stock market crashed that year, resulting in significant losses for both Berkshire and Buffett himself.

Things improved in 1988 when Buffett bought seven percent of Coca-Cola for $1.02 billion, as that became one of Berkshire's most profitable investments ever. By 1990, Buffett was a billionaire on paper thanks to Berkshire Hathaway's newly-sold Class A stocks.

Heading into the new millennium, Buffett and Berkshire experienced ups-and-downs, causing some to accuse him of losing his touch. He was also criticized during the subprime crisis of 2007-2008; however, by investing in American companies like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, Buffett helped stabilize the U.S. Economy and earned significant returns.

Buffett's success briefly earned him the title of world's richest man in 2008, when his net worth of $62 billion topped Bill Gates'. Buffett, Gates, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg partnered in 2010 to sign The Giving Pledge, which promised that half of their fortunes would eventually be allocated to charity. Buffett has also been vocal on political issues like health care reform and taxes for the super rich.

Berkshire emerged strong after the economic meltdown, and in 2011 Buffett bought $11 billion-worth of IBM shares, despite his longstanding position not to invest in technology. The next year, Buffett was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and talk turned to his eventual replacement as head of Berkshire Hathaway.

He was named one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and became one of the most successful investors of all time. But, it's Warren Buffett's frugal personal philosophy and unparalleled track record that have made him an inspiration for generations.

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