Charles Thomas Munger, the legendary investor and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, passed away on November 28, 2023, at the age of 99. Munger was a towering figure in the world of investing, known for his sharp intellect, contrarian thinking, and deep understanding of human nature.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1924, Munger was a precocious child who skipped two grades in school. He enrolled at the University of Michigan to study mathematics but dropped out after a few days to join the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, Munger attended the California Institute of Technology and then Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1948.
Munger began his legal career in Los Angeles, specializing in real estate and corporate law. He quickly became a successful lawyer, known for his sharp legal mind and his ability to negotiate complex deals.
In the 1950s, Munger began to invest in stocks. He was a disciple of Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, and he developed a deep understanding of Graham's principles of investing. Munger was also influenced by the work of Warren Buffett, whom he met in the early 1960s.
In 1968, Buffett invited Munger to join Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company that Buffett was in the process of turning into a conglomerate. Munger became Berkshire's vice chairman, and he played a key role in the company's success over the next 50 years.
Munger was a brilliant investor, but he was also a wise and witty thinker. He was known for his aphorisms, which he often shared in his speeches and writings. Some of his most famous aphorisms include:
"The best thing a human being can do in this world is to help someone else."
"In the long run, the most important thing is to be intelligent and to think things through carefully."
"It's remarkable how much you can learn if you just simply keep asking yourself questions."
Munger was a generous philanthropist, and he donated billions of dollars to charities during his lifetime. He was also a devoted father and grandfather.
Munger will be deeply missed by investors, thinkers, and people around the world. He was a true original, and his wisdom and wit will continue to inspire us for generations to come.
Here are some of Munger's most notable accomplishments:
Vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway for over 50 years
Helped Berkshire Hathaway become one of the most successful companies in history
Author of several influential books on investing
Recipient of numerous awards,including the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Munger's legacy will live on through his writings, his investments, and his many mentees. He was a true giant of the investment world, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest investors of all time.