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Charlie Munger dies at 99: Ten facts about Warren Buffett's closest aide

Munger served as Buffett’s sounding board on investments and business decisions and helped lead Berkshire for more than five decades and served as its longtime vice chairman.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: November 29, 2023 10:03 IST
Charlie Munger
Image Source : AP Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, the longtime friend and business partner of famed US investor Warren Buffett, died on Tuesday at a California hospital aged 99. Charlie Munger helped Warren Buffett build Berkshire Hathaway into an investment powerhouse.

In a statement, Berkshire Hathaway announced that Munger's family informed the company of his passing on Tuesday morning at the hospital, just over a month before his 100th birthday. “Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement. 

Munger played a crucial role as Buffett's confidant, providing valuable insights on investments and business decisions. He served as the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway for over five decades.

Charlie Munger was born and brought up in Omaha, Nebraska like Warren  Buffett. The two met as adults in 1959 and forged a friendship that lasted more than 60 years.

Munger and Buffett began buying Berkshire Hathaway shares in 1962, at $7 and $8 per share. By 1965, they gained control of the New England textile mill. Over the years, they transformed Berkshire into a diversified conglomerate, using profits from its businesses to acquire other companies, including Geico Insurance and BNSF railroad. Simultaneously, they maintained a prominent stock portfolio with significant investments in companies like Apple and Coca-Cola. The value of Berkshire Hathaway shares has surged to $546,869 as of Tuesday, making many investors wealthy through long-term ownership of the stock.

Here are some facts about Charlie Munger:

  1. Charlie Munger is an American investor, businessman, and philanthropist who is best known as the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate headed by Warren Buffett. 
  2. He dropped out of the University of Michigan to become a meteorologist in the Army during World War II.
  3. Munger joined Berkshire Hathaway as Vice Chairman in 1978. He has played a key role in the company's investment decisions and is known for his insightful contributions to the annual shareholder meetings.
  4. He was known as a pragmatic investor and an active philanthropist who lived relatively frugally and gave millions to universities.
  5. Munger, like Warren Buffett, is known for his value investing philosophy. He emphasizes the importance of rationality, patience, and a long-term perspective in investment decisions.
  6. He is also known for his practical approach to problem-solving and decision-making, often referred to as the "Munger Operating System." This involves using multiple models, avoiding common pitfalls, and making decisions based on a thorough analysis of the situation. 
  7. He built a fortune worth more than USD 2 billion at one point and earned a spot on the list of the richest Americans, but Munger's wealth has been decreasing as he engaged in philanthropy.
  8. He has given significant gifts to Harvard-Westlake, Stanford University Law School, the University of Michigan and the Huntington Library as well as other charities.  He also gave a significant portion of his Berkshire stock to his eight children after his wife died in 2010.
  9. Munger also served on the boards of Good Samaritan Hospital and the private Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles as well as the boards of Daily Journal Corp. and Costco.
  10. He is a proponent of using a "latticework of mental models" from various disciplines to make better decisions. He believes in interdisciplinary thinking and learning from a wide range of fields.

(With AP inputs)

 

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