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Warren Buffett may be known as one of the world's greatest investors, but his influence reaches far beyond finance. In an upcoming documentary titled "Warren Buffett: Investor. Teacher. Icon.," CNBC gets an intimate look not only at the "Oracle of Omaha" but at the lives of those he has influenced and changed.
Buffett has long been admired for his dogged work ethic, staying close to his Nebraska roots and for maintaining a relatively modest lifestyle – at least for someone with a net worth exceeding $80 billion. He started out delivering newspapers seven decades ago in Washington, D.C., where he lived as a teenager for several years while his father served in the U.S. House. Today, Buffett lives in the same Omaha home he purchased in 1958. His emphasis on frugality and philanthropy has served as life lessons to those who follow him, every bit as much as the principles of value investing he has preached for decades as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett's devoted fans can be found across the country and around the world. More than 75 books have been written about him, his longtime business partner Charlie Munger, and their investment principles. Buffett's admirers run the gamut, from NFL star Ndamukong Suh, to a group of kids in Detroit studying financial literacy, to an entrepreneur in Alabama with a booming cleaning business. CNBC even profiles a young man who says Buffett's own sense of integrity served as an example that helped him overcome a drug addiction.
There was a time when Buffett was afraid to speak in public, but he's long since overcome that fear, and he's come to see himself as a teacher as much as a CEO. At the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting each year, Buffett and Munger field any and all questions from shareholders, for five full hours. The meeting, dubbed the "Woodstock of Capitalism," mainly focuses on finance, but attendees are free to ask whatever is on their minds. When one shareholder asked Buffett what he would have to do to become his successor at Berkshire Hathaway, the answer was simple. "Probably shoot me," Buffett said.
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