Charlie Munger, who worked for wealthy stock picker Warren Buffett for many years, has died at the age of 99.
The vice-chairman of Buffett’s huge company, Berkshire Hathaway, became famous for his smart investments and sharp tongue as they turned the company from a cloth manufacturing business into a global investment powerhouse.
The family of Munger told Berkshire “that he peacefully died this morning at a California hospital,” the company said Tuesday.
Buffett, who is 93 years old, said, “Charlie’s ideas, wisdom, and participation were essential in building Berkshire Hathaway to where it is today.”
Forbes says that Munger was a millionaire in his own right and had a personal wealth of about $2.6bn. Trump is one of the richest people in the world; he is worth $119.6bn.
Munger became vice-chairman of Berkshire in 1978 and was said to have helped Buffett decide how to spend the company’s money while quickly pointing out any mistakes.
A lot of people bought shares in their company, and those people profited from its huge stock market rise. Tens of thousands of investors come to Omaha, Nebraska, every year for Berkshire’s annual meeting. Buffett and Munger have been preaching to loyal fans at this meeting for decades.
Buffett has often kept quiet, but his friend never missed a chance to say what he thought. Munger once said that bankers were like “heroin addicts” and that investing in cryptocurrency was like “absolutely crazy, stupid gambling.”
When Berkshire held its annual meeting earlier this year, Munger said he didn’t believe “the hype” about AI. “I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well,” he told the people who were there.
Berkshire’s owners praised the company’s leaders for making huge profits, but Munger played down the smarts that led to their success. “I believe that one reason why Berkshire Hathaway is so well-known is that we seem like a clever group,” he said in 2010. “It’s not brilliant. It’s just staying away from stupidity.”
Today, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, two other vice-chairmen at Berkshire, are in charge of the company’s dozens of running companies. While Buffett is still in charge, Abel is likely to take over as CEO.