Charlie Munger, longtime business partner of Warren Buffett and key figure in building Berkshire Hathaway into a successful investment company, has passed away at the age of 99. Munger's family informed Berkshire Hathaway of his death just over a month before his 100th birthday. Buffett credited Munger with being instrumental in the success of Berkshire Hathaway, stating that the company could not have reached its present status without Munger's wisdom and participation.
Munger, who served as Buffett's sounding board on investment decisions and as vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, preferred to stay behind the scenes and downplayed his contributions to the company's success. However, Buffett acknowledged Munger's influence in shaping his investment strategies and valuing businesses.
Munger and Buffett began buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway in the 1960s and transformed the textile mill into a conglomerate through acquisitions of companies like Geico insurance and BNSF railroad. They also maintained a high-profile stock portfolio, with major investments in companies like Apple and Coca-Cola. Berkshire Hathaway's shares have grown significantly over the years, making many investors wealthy.
Munger was known for his sharp wit and self-deprecating manner, often offering insightful answers during Berkshire Hathaway's annual meetings. He was a voracious reader and studied various disciplines to evaluate potential investments. Munger's wealth decreased over time as he gave more of his fortune away, but the increasing value of Berkshire Hathaway's stock kept him wealthy.
Munger's passing leaves a void in the investment world, as he and Buffett challenged each other and enjoyed a unique friendship. Munger's influence and contributions to Berkshire Hathaway's success will be greatly missed.