Warren Edward Buffett

Buffett, Warren Edward (bŭfˈət) [key], 1930–, American financial executive, b. Omaha, Nebr., studied at Wharton School of Finance (1947–49), grad. Univ. of Nebraska (B.S., 1950), Columbia (M.S., 1951). After working as an investment salesman and securities analyst, he was partner (1956–69) in the investment firm Buffett Partnership, Ltd. In 1965, he acquired the textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway and became (1970) chairman and CEO. Through judicious investments and acquisitions of insurance, manufacturing, service, and other firms, Buffett has transformed Berkshire Hathaway into a large conglomerate, and his investments have made him one of the wealthiest people in the world. In 2006 he announced that he would donate the vast majority of his wealth to charity, with some $31 billion, the largest gift, ultimately going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has coauthored Warren Buffett Speaks (with J. C. Lowe, 1997) and Thoughts of Chairman Buffett (with S. Reynolds, 1998). His father, Howard Homan Buffett, 1903–64, an investment banker, was a U.S. congressman from Nebraska (1943–49, 1951–53).

See biographies by R. Lowenstein (1995) and A. Schroeder (2008); studies by A. Kirkpatrick (1992), R. G. Hagstrom (1995), and M. Buffett and D. Clark (1997).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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