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Synopsis

Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— and Fortune journalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all.

When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 Fortune article, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffett would quickly become close personal friends. As Buf­fett’s fortune and reputation grew over time, Loomis used her unique insight into Buffett’s thinking to chronicle his work for Fortune, writ­ing and proposing scores of stories that tracked his many accomplishments—and also his occa­sional mistakes.

Now Loomis has collected and updated the best Buffett articles Fortune published between 1966 and 2012, including thirteen cover stories and a dozen pieces authored by Buffett himself. Loomis has provided commentary about each major arti­cle that supplies context and her own informed point of view. Readers will gain fresh insights into Buffett’s investment strategies and his thinking on management, philanthropy, public policy, and even parenting. Some of the highlights include:

  • The 1966 A. W. Jones story in which Fortune first mentioned Buffett.
  • The first piece Buffett wrote for the magazine, 1977’s “How Inf lation Swindles the Equity Investor.”
  • Andrew Tobias’s 1983 article “Letters from Chairman Buffett,” the first review of his Berk­shire Hathaway shareholder letters.
  • Buffett’s stunningly prescient 2003 piece about derivatives, “Avoiding a Mega-Catastrophe.”
  • His unconventional thoughts on inheritance and philanthropy, including his intention to leave his kids “enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
  • Bill Gates’s 1996 article describing his early impressions of Buffett as they struck up their close friendship.

Scores of Buffett books have been written, but none can claim this work’s combination of trust between two friends, the writer’s deep under­standing of Buffett’s world, and a very long-term perspective.

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