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Warren Buffett Cancels Annual Event Hosted By His Biographer

Tuesday, 3 Feb 2009 | 10:41 PM ET
Alice Schroeder, author of Bantam Dell's
Marion Ettlinger
Alice Schroeder, author of Bantam Dell's

Warren Buffett's authorized biographer will not be hosting a "sage advice" dinner featuring the Omaha billionaire at this year's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in May, bringing a decade-long tradition to an end.

Since 1998, Snowball author Alice Schroeder has invited up to several hundred guests to hear Buffett answer questions questions in an informal, off-the-record, event.

The New York Times reports that Buffett has canceled this year's dinner, "apparently because of his displeasure with some aspects" of Schroeder's book.

The newspaper cites "two people with knowledge of the situation who declined to be identified by name."

According to the Times, "there has been a cooling of relations" but not a "total falling out" between Buffett and Schroeder. "Those who are aware of Mr. Buffett's reaction to the book said that seeing his complicated personal life laid out in black and white left him with mixed feelings, particularly over the portrayal of his late wife, Susan."

Over five years of researching and writing, Schroeder spent thousands of hours with Buffett and had access to his personal records. She first met him in the late '90s when she was a Wall Street analyst.

She tells the Times, "We're still in touch with each other. But now that the book is finished, it is not as frequent as before. You can conjecture what you want from that. I will not stop the conjecture."

The Omaha World-Herald quotes Schroeder as saying, "All good things come to an end. It wasn't going to go on forever. It was great."

Buffett's office tells the Times, "Mr. Buffett likes Alice, likes her book and has received a number of glowing letters from friends about it." Even so, "at some point, like the charity golf outing he once hosted, an event runs its course."

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