The “Oracle of Ohama”, Warren Buffett, the investment icon is regarded as one of the most richest and respected businessmen in the world.
Businessman and investor. Born Warren Edward Buffett on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett’s father, Howard, worked as stockbroker and served as a U.S. congressman. His mother, Leila Stahl Buffett, was a homemaker. Buffett was the second of three children and the only boy.
Buffett demonstrated a knack for financial and business matters early in his childhood. Friends and acquaintances have said the young boy was a mathematical prodigy who could add large columns of numbers in his head, a talent he occasionally demonstrated in his later years.
Warren often visited his father’s stock brokerage shop as a child, and chalked in the stock prices on the blackboard in the office. At 11 years old he made his first investment, buying three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. The stock quickly dropped to only $27, but Buffett held on tenaciously until they reached $40. He sold his shares at a small profit, but regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share. He later cited this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.
By the age of 13, Buffett was running his own businesses as a paperboy and selling his own horseracing tip sheet. That same year, he filed his first tax return, claiming his bike as a $35 tax deduction.
In 1942, Buffett’s father was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and his family moved to Fredricksburg, Virginia, to be closer to the congressman’s new post. Buffett attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., where he continued plotting new ways to make money. During his high school tenure, he and a friend purchased a used pinball machine for $25. They installed it in a barbershop, and within a few months the profits enabled them to buy other machines. Buffett owned machines in three different locations before he sold the business for $1,200.
In 2012, Buffett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He began undergoing radiation treatment in July, and successfully completed his treatment in November.
The health scare did little to slow the octogenarian, who annually ranks near the top of the Forbes world billionaires list. In February 2013, Buffett purchased H. J. Heinz with private equity group 3G Capital for $28 billion. Later additions to the Berkshire Hathaway stable included battery maker Duracell and Kraft Foods Group, which merged with Heinz in 2015 to form the third-largest food and beverage company in North America.