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Warren Edward Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has an estimated fortune of $88.9 billion dollars, making him the fourth richest person in the world. Nicknamed the Wizard or Oracle of Omaha, Buffett was born in 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett was an entrepreneur from a young age, working in his grandfather’s grocery store and selling chewing gum, Coca-Cola, and magazines door-to-door. On his first tax return in 1944, he took a $35 deduction for the bicycle he rode on his paper route. When he was just fourteen years old, Buffett used $1,200 of his savings to purchase 40 acres of farmland. 

After graduating high school in 1947, Buffett wanted to go directly into business but was forced by his father to enroll in the University of Pennsylvania. He later transferred to the University of Nebraska and graduated at the age of nineteen. In 1950, Buffett enrolled in Columbia University to take classes from famed investor and economist, Benjamin Graham. Graham was on the board of GEICO Insurance at the time. In 1951, Buffett invested 65% of his $20,000 savings in GEICO stock. Buffett now owns GEICO outright. 

In the late fifties and early sixties, Buffett created several investment partnerships. In 1962, he began buying stock in a textile manufacturing company, Berkshire Hathaway. He also invested in American Express and Disney. By 1970, Berkshire Hathaway made only $45,000 from textiles compared to 4.7 million from insurance, banking, and investments. Buffett made the Forbes list for the first time in 1983, with a personal net worth of $620 million. In 1988, Buffett began buying stock in Coca-Cola, with Berkshire Hathaway eventually owning $1.02 billion dollars in stock or 7% of the company. By 1989, Buffett’s personal fortune was $3.8 billion dollars. 

In 2008, Forbes magazine named Buffett the richest man in the world, with an estimated fortune of $58 billion, overtaking Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, who had been number one for the fifteen previous years. In 2006, Buffett donated Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at an estimated $31 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation focuses on ending hunger and extreme poverty in developing countries and providing educational opportunities in the United States. Bill Gates and Buffett created The Giving Pledge in 2010 to encourage other billionaires to commit to giving away at least half of their fortunes.