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Warren Buffett (born 1930) is a United States businessman, investor, speaker and philantropist. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world, and serves as the chairman and CEO of the multinational conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett developed an interest in investing in his youth. His investment philosophy is focused on value investing. In May 2019, his net worth was slightly below $90 billion.
Short facts about Warren Buffett
Name: Warren Edward Buffett
Born: 30 August, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Alma maters: University of Pennsylvania, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Columbia University
Residence: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Spouse: Susan Thompson (married 1952, she died in 2004), Astrid Menks (married 2006)
Children: Susan Alice Buffett, Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett
Buffet is a signer of The Giving Pledge and is committed to giving away most of his wealth instead of letting his children inherit it. Ha has stated that “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing“.
Buffett has a long history of philantrophy and founded charitable Buffett Foundation in 1964. Today, this foundation is named the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation in honor of Susan Buffett who died in 2004. As of 2014, the Buffett Foundation ranked 4th among family foundations by grants paid.
In 2006, Buffett announced a plan to give 83% of his wealth to the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation, and pledged roughly the equivalent of 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to the foundation. (At the time, that equaled around $30 billion.) According to the plan, the foundation will receive 5% of the total in July each year, startin in 2006.
Before his pledge to the Gates Foundation, Buffett had intended to pass 99% of his wealth to his Buffett Foundation. He changed his mind because he grew to admire the results of the Gates Foundation and believes that it will be able to use his money more effectively.
In 2008, Buffett was ranked as the richest person in the world by Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $62 billion. After donating billions of dollars to charity, he was “just” the second-richest person in the United States for the year 2009, with a net worth of $37 billion. (By May 2019, his net worth had rose again, to nearly $89 billion.)
The Giving Pledge
As a co-founder of The Giving Pledge, Buffett was one of the first people to sing it. He signed it on 9 December, 2010, the same day as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
Examples of causes and projects supported by Warren Buffet
- Planned Parenthood
- The International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS)
- Marie Stopes International, in the United Kingdom
- Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida, in Mexico
- Developent of the abortion drug RU-486
- The National Abortion Federation
- The Guttmacher Institute, a research organization started in 1968 that works to study, educate, and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights
- The Gynuity Health Projects
- The Willows Foundation in Turkey
- The World Food Programme (the food-assistance branch of the United Nations)
- Omaha’s Building Bright Futures initiative to provide financial support that helps low-income students in the area attend college
- The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonpartisan organization which works to prevent catastrophic attacks and accidents with weapons of mass destruction and disruption – nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber
- In 2006, Buffett auctioned his Lincoln Town Car on eBay to reaise money fir Girls, Inc.
- In 2007, Buffett auctioned a luncheon with him to raise money for the Glide Foundation, a charity organization that helps the homeless. The final bid was $650,100. This auction was later followed by several dinner auctions – including three that brought in $2.1 million, $1.7 million and $3.5 million, respectively. The dinners auctioned out by Buffett are traditionally held at the Smith and Wollensky steak house in New York, and the restaurant donates a minimum of $10,000 to Glide each year for this privilige.
Warren Buffett is funding and supporting many of his family member’s charitable foundations, such as:
- Susan Alice Buffett’s Sherwood Foundation, an organization in Omaha that provides grants in public education, human services and social justice in the interest of promoting the welfare of children from lower-income families.
- The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which supports projects in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, water, humanitarian, conservation, and conflict/unaccompanied persons. The foundation focuses much of its funding on communities in Africa and Central America. In 2007, the Foundation co-launched the Global Water Initiative with several other organizations. One example of a project supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation is the Nature Conservation Trust’s and South African National Park’s joint initiative to combat Rhino poaching in South Africa.
- Peter Buffett’s NoVo Foundation, and organization working to promote a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women.
- Doris Buffett’s Letters Foundation and Learning By Giving Foundation. The Letters Foundation provide financial aid directly to individuals experiencing a crisis through no fault of their own, when no other options exist. Doris Buffett believes in small and direct grants to people, a philosophy that has earned her the nickname “the retail philanthropist”. Her Learning By Giving Foundation promotes the study of experiential philanthropy at undergraduate colleges in the United States.