• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Remembering Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the longtime partner of Warren Buffett, passed away on November 28, 2023, at the age of 99. He was widely regarded as one of the most influential and successful investors of all time, as well as a generous philanthropist and a source of wisdom and wit.

In this blog post, we will pay tribute to his remarkable life and legacy, by highlighting some of the key aspects of his biography, his relationship with Warren Buffett, his family life, the cause of his death, his net worth, some of his quotes, and some frequently asked questions about him.

Charlie Munger Biography

Charlie Munger was born on January 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, the same city where Buffett was born. He was the son of a lawyer and a judge, and he showed an early interest in mathematics and business. He attended the University of Michigan, where he studied mathematics, and then dropped out to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He later enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1948.

He started his career as a lawyer in Los Angeles, California, but soon realized that he was more interested in investing. He founded his own investment partnership in 1962, and achieved impressive returns for his clients. He also became involved in several businesses, such as real estate, banking, and publishing. He served as the chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation from 1984 to 2011, and as the chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation since 1977. He was also a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation since 1997.

Charlie Munger Relationship with Warren Buffett

Charlie Munger met Warren Buffett in 1959, through a mutual friend. They quickly discovered that they shared a similar philosophy and approach to investing, which was based on the principles of value investing, as taught by Benjamin Graham. They also shared a common sense of humor and a love of reading.

They became partners in 1978, when Munger joined Berkshire Hathaway as the vice chairman. Together, they transformed the company from a struggling textile manufacturer into a diversified conglomerate that owns dozens of businesses and invests in hundreds of others. They also became close friends and confidants, often exchanging letters and phone calls, and appearing together at the annual meetings of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, where they answered questions and shared their insights and opinions on various topics.

Munger was instrumental in influencing Buffett to expand his investment horizon beyond the traditional value investing criteria, and to look for high-quality businesses with durable competitive advantages and strong management teams. He also introduced Buffett to some of the most successful investments that Berkshire Hathaway made, such as Coca-Cola, American Express, and See’s Candies. He also helped Buffett to deal with some of the challenges and crises that the company faced, such as the Salomon Brothers scandal, the dot-com bubble, and the global financial crisis.

Buffett described Munger as his closest partner and right-hand man, and credited him for much of the success of Berkshire Hathaway. He also praised Munger for his intelligence, integrity, generosity, and humility. He once wrote: “Charlie has the best 30-second mind in the world. He goes from A to Z in one move. He sees the essence of everything before you even finish the sentence.” He also said: “Charlie Munger is truly the broadest thinker I have ever encountered. Our longest-serving director, he long ago laid out the architecture for our system of corporate governance. He is my partner and friend. If I have been able to make any contribution to Berkshire’s success, Charlie should get the lion’s share of the credit.”

Charlie Munger Family Life

Charlie Munger was married twice and had seven children. His first wife was Nancy Jean Huggins, whom he married in 1945 and divorced in 1953. They had three children: Wendy, Molly, and Teddy. His second wife was Nancy Barry Borthwick, whom he married in 1956 and who died in 2010. They had four children: Charles Jr., Emilie, Barry, and William.

Munger faced several tragedies in his family life. His son Teddy died of leukemia in 1955, when he was only nine years old. His daughter Molly died of breast cancer in 2010, when she was 56 years old. His son Charles Jr. was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attempted suicide several times. Munger also suffered from partial blindness, deafness, and prostate cancer.

Despite these hardships, Munger remained resilient and optimistic. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and hosting parties and gatherings at his home. He was especially fond of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he often entertained with stories and jokes. He also supported his children and grandchildren in their endeavors and interests, such as education, philanthropy, and politics.

Charlie Munger Cause of Death

Charlie Munger died on November 28, 2023, at the age of 99, in Santa Barbara, California. The cause of his death was not disclosed, but it was reported that he died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his loved ones. His death was confirmed by a statement from Berkshire Hathaway, which said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved vice chairman, Charlie Munger. He was a visionary leader, a brilliant investor, a generous philanthropist, and a loyal friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and admired him.”

Charlie Munger Net Worth

Charlie Munger was one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of about $2.8 billion, as of November 2023, according to Forbes. Most of his wealth came from his stake in Berkshire Hathaway, which he owned about 1.5 million shares, worth about $2.4 billion. He also owned shares in other companies, such as Costco, Li Lu’s Himalaya Capital, and the Daily Journal Corporation.

Munger was also a prolific philanthropist, who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various causes and institutions, especially in the fields of education, science, and medicine. He supported several universities, such as Stanford, Harvard, Michigan, and Caltech, where he funded scholarships, fellowships, professorships, and buildings. He also supported research and innovation in areas such as physics, astronomy, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. He also contributed to organizations such as the Good Samaritan Hospital, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the X Prize Foundation.

Some of Charlie Munger Quotes

Charlie Munger was known for his wit and wisdom, and for his memorable and insightful quotes on various topics, such as investing, business, life, and human nature. Here are some of his quotes:

  • “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.”
  • “The big money is not in the buying and selling … but in the waiting.”
  • “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
  • “I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart.”
  • “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.”
  • “All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.”
  • “The first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily.”
  • “I think that one should recognize reality even when one doesn’t like it; indeed, especially when one doesn’t like it.”
  • “The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”
  • “Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.”

FAQs about Charlie Munger

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Charlie Munger, and their answers:

Q: What books did Charlie Munger recommend?

A: Charlie Munger was an avid reader, and he recommended many books over the years. Some of the books that he mentioned or praised include: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Selfish Gene, The Origin of Species, The Lessons of History, The Discoverers, The Rational Optimist, The Black Swan, The Checklist Manifesto, and The Outsiders.

Q: What was Charlie Munger’s investment strategy?

A: Charlie Munger’s investment strategy was based on the principles of value investing, but with some modifications and additions. He looked for businesses that had durable competitive advantages, strong management teams, high returns on capital, and reasonable prices. He also preferred businesses that he understood well, and that operated in simple and predictable industries. He also practiced concentration, rather than diversification, and held his investments for the long term. He also avoided using leverage, and avoided investing in businesses that he considered immoral or harmful.

Q: What was Charlie Munger’s daily routine?

A: Charlie Munger’s daily routine was not very rigid or structured, but it involved a lot of reading, thinking, and learning. He usually woke up early, and read newspapers, magazines, books, and reports. He also checked his emails and phone messages, and communicated with his partners and associates. He sometimes attended meetings or events, or visited some of the businesses that he was involved in. He also spent time with his family and friends, and enjoyed hobbies such as playing bridge, chess, or piano. He usually went to bed early.


Mbiydze is a web and graphic designer, digital marketer, and founder of a group of companies including CHEETAH CAMEROON, MBIYDZELA DIGITAL and PULSEBEAT ENTERTAINMENT  He is an ambitious entrepreneur with experience in various fields.
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