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Warren Buffett Admits Regret Over Wife's Departure In New Biography - NY Daily News

Friday, 26 Sep 2008 | 6:34 PM ET

Warren Buffett says in the new biography coming out Monday that letting his wife leave their Omaha home in 1977 was the "biggest mistake I ever made," according to The New York Daily News.

The newspaper's Rush & Molloy gossip column says Buffett told Snowball author Alice Schroeder that Susie Buffett's departure for California "was preventable. It was definitely 95% my fault ... I just wasn't attuned enough to her, and she'd always been perfectly attuned to me. She kept me together for a lot of years ... It shouldn't have happened."

Washington Post Company Executive Committee Chairman Katharine Graham in a 1997 file photo.
Washington Post Company Executive Committee Chairman Katharine Graham in a 1997 file photo.

One of the reasons Susie began a romance with her tennis coach and then left her "iceberg" husband: Katherine Graham's public flirtation with Buffett when the Washington Post publisher was a 59-year-old widow and he was 46.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought a stake in the Washington Post company in the early 1970s. (It still holds a stake of over 18%, currently worth just under one billion dollars.)

By the Daily News' account, Schroeder's book talks about how Graham and Buffett would travel around the country "on business" or spend time at her mansion on Martha's Vineyard. It describes how Graham made no effort to hide her flirtation, tossing her house key to Buffett at parties.

The News quotes Schroeder as writing that Susie "made it plain to several friends that she was furious and humiliated" but sent Graham written permission to date her husband. "Kay showed the letter to people as though it let her off the hook."

Although they continued to live separately, Warren and Susan Buffett did not divorce. After her death in 2004 he married his longtime companion Astrid Menks. Graham died in 2001.

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