Warren Buffett is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is one of the world's wealthiest men. Buffett is known as "the Sage of Omaha" for his remarkable savvy in stock market investments and for the success of Berkshire Hathaway -- the textile company he acquired in 1965 and turned into a holding company for investments in many other businesses. Over the years Buffett bought stock in financial powerhouses like Coca-Cola, Geico Insurance, Gillette, and the Washington Post Company (where Buffett became a board member and close friend of Post head Katharine Graham
). Berkshire Hathaway became famously successful: $1000 invested in the company in 1965 would have been worth over $5 million by the year 2000. By the 1980s, Warren Buffett was a regular in the Forbes
annual list of the world's richest people, and by the late 1990s he was second in wealth only to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates
. In June of 2006, with his personal wealth valued at roughly $44 billion, Warren Buffett announced plans to give 85% of his Berkshire stock over time to five charitable foundations, primarily the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.