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Susan Buffett

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Full Name  Susan Thompson
Name  Susan Buffett

Role  Warren Buffett's wife
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Born  June 15, 1932 (1932-06-15) Omaha, Nebraska, US
Occupation  Singer, businessperson, activist, philanthropist
Died  July 29, 2004, Cody, Wyoming, United States
Spouse  Warren Buffett (m. 1952–2004)
Children  Susan Alice Buffett, Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett
Parents  William Thopmson, Dorothy Thompson
Similar People  Warren Buffett, Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett, Charlie Munger, Howard Buffett

Education  Northwestern University

Buffett on late wife: She put me together

Susan Thompson Buffett (June 15, 1932 – July 29, 2004), the first wife of investor Warren Buffett, was active in civil rights, abortion rights and population control causes. She was a director of Berkshire Hathaway, owning 2.2 percent (worth US$3 billion in 2004) of the company at the time of her death. She was the 153rd richest person in the world. She was president of the Buffett Foundation, which has contributed millions of dollars to educational groups, medical research, population-control groups and other charities.


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Susan was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from Omaha Central High School. Her father, William Thompson, was a minister, psychologist, dean at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and one-time campaign manager for Howard Buffett.

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Though her parents and Warren's knew one another, they met at Northwestern University, via Susan's roommate Roberta Buffett, Warren's sister.

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Susan and Warren married in 1952 at the Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha. They had three children together: Susan (born July 30, 1953), Howard (born December 16, 1954), and Peter (born May 4, 1958).

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She occasionally performed as a cabaret singer and, in 1977, had a one-night performance at an Omaha theater. Encouraged by songwriter/musician Neil Sedaka to pursue a singing career, she left her husband and moved to San Francisco. She started out living in a small apartment in Gramercy Tower on Nob Hill. Later she moved into a large condominium on Broadway near Scott Street in Pacific Heights with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. She remained married and on good terms with her husband, vacationing together with him and spending time assisting charitable groups. She performed in New York and released several CDs. According to Roger Lowenstein's 1995 Random House biography, Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, while Warren encouraged Susan to pursue her career in music, he was soon heartbroken by her move.

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In 1978, Susan introduced her husband to Astrid Menks, who moved in with Warren in their Omaha home, and after Susan's death, married him.

The Buffetts never divorced and even attended public functions as husband and wife though they hadn't lived together for more than half of their marriage. The Buffetts even signed Christmas cards Warren, Susan, and Astrid and were often seen together as a trio.

Oral cancer and death

In October 2003, Susan was diagnosed with oral cancer; she underwent surgery, radiation therapy and facial reconstruction. Warren flew out from Omaha to be with her every weekend during her recovery and the couple would later contribute $6 million to five California doctors for the study of oral cancer. She had recovered enough to attend the annual shareholders' meeting of Berkshire Hathaway in May 2004, leading a singalong at the Borsheim's reception.

Susan died at the age of 72 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage during the summer of 2004 in Cody, Wyoming. Bono performed "Forever Young" and "All I Want Is You" at her funeral. Warren was so grief-stricken that he did not attend. She left approximately $50 million to her children's charity while each of her children received $10 million and each grandchild received $100,000. She also left a number of friends and employees substantial sums including $8 million to John McCabe and $1 million to Ron Parks. Nearly all of her Berkshire Hathaway shares, valued at nearly $3 billion at the time, were left to a foundation that would later bear her name.


Susan Buffett Wikipedia