Warren Edward Buffett, born on August 30, 1930, is an American magnate in the field of business, an investor, and a philanthropist. Presently, he holds the position of chairman and CEO at Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished fundamental investors in the world owing to his massive success in the field. As of February 2023, his net worth amounts to over $108 billion, which ranks him as the fifth-richest person worldwide.
Buffett, the only son and second of three children of Leila and Congressman Howard Buffett, was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1930. He began his education at Rose Hill Elementary School and later moved to Washington, D.C. with his family when his father was elected to the United States Congress. There, he attended Alice Deal Junior High School and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947.
In his senior yearbook picture, he was described as someone who “likes math; a future stockbroker”. Despite wanting to skip college and start a business, Buffett was encouraged by his father to attend college after finishing high school, though he had already found success in his side entrepreneurial and investment ventures.
At a young age, Buffett exhibited an interest in business and investing, sparked by the book One Thousand Ways to Make $1000, which he borrowed from the Omaha public library when he was only seven years old. He engaged in various entrepreneurial ventures during his childhood, including selling chewing gum, Coca-Cola, and magazines door-to-door, working in his grandfather’s grocery store, delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps, and detailing cars.
In 1944, he even took a $35 deduction on his income tax return for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route, while still in high school. As a high school sophomore in 1945, he and a friend invested $25 in a used pinball machine, which they placed in a local barber shop. This venture proved successful, and within a few months, they owned several machines in three different barber shops across Omaha. Ultimately, they sold the business to a war veteran for a profit of $1,200.
Starting in 1951, Buffett began his career as an investment salesman at Buffett-Falk & Co. He then worked as a securities analyst at Graham-Newman Corp. from 1954 to 1956, followed by working as a general partner at Buffett Partnership, Ltd. from 1956 to 1969. In 1970, he became the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
During his early career, Buffett learned about GEICO insurance and discovered that his mentor, Benjamin Graham, was on the company’s board. Buffett traveled to GEICO’s headquarters and had a lengthy discussion about the insurance business with Lorimer Davidson, GEICO’s vice president. Davidson became a close friend and a lifelong influence on Buffett. Despite wanting to work on Wall Street, Buffett’s father and Graham urged him not to, and when he offered to work for Graham for free, Graham refused. Ultimately, Buffett returned to Omaha and worked as a stockbroker.
In 1952, at the Dundee Presbyterian Church, Buffett wedded Susan Thompson. Their first child, Susan Alice, arrived the following year. After being offered a job at Benjamin Graham’s partnership, Buffett commenced his role in 1954, earning an initial annual salary of $12,000, which amounts to around $121,000 in today’s currency. During his tenure, Buffett closely collaborated with Walter Schloss, and the partnership’s head, Graham, held stocks to a high margin of safety, balancing their price against their intrinsic value. That same year, Howard Graham, their second child, was born. By 1956, with personal savings of over $174,000, Buffett initiated Buffett Partnership Ltd., shortly after Graham retired and closed the partnership.
In 1957, Buffett managed three partnerships and purchased his present-day five-bedroom stucco house in Omaha for $31,500. Peter Andrew, their third child, arrived in 1958, and by the end of that year, Buffett managed five partnerships. In 1959, the firm expanded to six partnerships, and it was during this time that Buffett met Charlie Munger, who later became his business partner. By 1960, Buffett had seven partnerships, and he asked one of his partners, a doctor, to introduce him to ten other physicians who were willing to invest $10,000 each in his partnership. Eleven eventually agreed, and with an original investment of just $100, Buffett pooled their money into his enterprise.
His current net worth as of March 2023, is $106 billion.
Warren Buffett, the famous American investor and philanthropist, has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his life. Some of his most notable awards and achievements include:
Overall, Warren Buffett’s awards and achievements are a testament to his success as an investor, philanthropist, and business leader.