Known as the ‘Miracle of Omaha’, Warren Buffet is the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the wealthiest people of the world and a highly successful investor of the twentieth century. In 2008 Buffet was the ranked as the world’s richest person and third richest in 2011. Listed in Time magazine’s ‘most influential people of the world’, Buffet has made a mark for himself due to his exceptional entrepreneurial skills.
This American magnate and philanthropist, was born on 30th August 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska to a stockbroker turned congressman Howard Buffet. When children of his age were busy playing he was busy making money. He sold various items door-to-door and also worked at a grocery store owned by his grandfather. Even when he was in high school, he managed to make quite a lot of money by selling stamps, golf balls and delivering newspapers. In 1945, which was his sophomore year in high school, Buffet bought a pinball machine for 25 dollars and placed it at a barber shop. In a few months’ time he owned several other pinball machines. Buffet’s interest in stock exchange grew and he bought his first shares at the age of 11. Buffet graduated with a degree of Bachelor in Science from University of Nebraska and a Master of Science from University of Columbia. Along with that he also went to New York Institute of Finance.
By the time Warren was twenty years old (1950) he had a saving of almost ten thousand dollars. Buffet’s first official employment was at Buffet-Falk & Co. as an investment salesman from 1951 to 1954. In 1954 he took a job at Benjamin Graham’s partnership where his initial annual pay was 12, 000 dollars which means 105,000 2012 dollars! In the next two years Buffet’s personal savings increased to 174,000 dollars (1.2 million in 2009 dollars). That was when he founded Buffet Partnership Ltd. By 1957 he had three partnerships working which rose to 5 by the next year and till 1960 he was joined in seven operating partnerships. In 1962 Buffet was a millionaire due to his partnerships. He invested in a textile company, Berkshire Hathaway, and soon took control of it.
His salary in 1970 was fifty thousand dollars per annum. Buffet began to buy stock in the Washington Post Company in 1973 and soon became a member of its board. Buffet’s reputation as a businessman was so solid that if it was known that Buffet was to buy a stock, its price would shoot up by 10 percent. He finally bought Berkshire Hathaway in 1977. Buffet became a billionaire after he started selling the Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway in 1990; the market closed at over 7000 dollars per share. In 2011 Buffet had purchased 64 million shares of IBM stock for 11 billion dollars. In May 2012 it was reported that Buffet has acquired Media General which is the newspaper owner of 63 newspapers in the US.
In April he was diagnosed with prostate cancer for which he was treated successfully. Buffet’s achievements have been acknowledged with several honors. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Buffet was also termed as the most influential global thinker in the 2010 report of Foreign Policy. According to Forbes his net worth is almost 62 billion dollars.