Forbes discovered Warren Buffett in 1969 when he was just making his mark as a shrewd financier who consistently beat the market, bear or bull. Since then our editors and reporters have covered Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway—gaining access precious few have ever enjoyed—as the billionaire continues to make an indelible mark in the investing world. Herein you’ll find 15 carefully curated profiles of the Oracle of Omaha, ranging from 1969 to 2013, each one shining light on the man Buffett has become through his many years as an unparalleled capitalist-cum-philanthropist. Buy now Warren Buffett, The $59 Billion Philanthropist.
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By Robert Lenzner
On the night of Aug. 17 a steady stream of young baseball fans approached a middle-aged businessman wearing a red polo shirt who was sitting near the field at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium. Often shyly, always deferentially, they asked him to sign their scorecards. Warren Buffett accommodated them—in such numbers as to almost guarantee the famous financier’s signature won’t bring premium prices on the autograph market.
Except for the polite autograph seekers, there were no indications that this pale, slightly bulging Omaha native was the richest person in America and an investment genius on a scale that the world rarely sees. There were no fawning retainers or hangers-on, no bodyguards to drive off paparazzi and supplicants. Buffett is 25% owner of the Omaha Royals, minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and by all appearances that day you would have thought that is all he is. His close friend, Charles Munger, puts it this way: “One of the reasons Warren is so cheerful is that he doesn’t have to remember his lines”—meaning that the public Buffett and the private Buffett are the same man.