Warren Buffett used to drink Pepsi and 7 other surprising facts about the billionaire

The most surprising facts about Warren Buffett before he became a billionaire

CNBC's new documentary, "Warren Buffett: Investor. Teacher. Icon.," examines the life of the third-richest person in the world through personal stories from those he has influenced over the years. But in addition to highlighting how Buffett's investing legacy has inspired people across the globe, the new footage also brings to light surprising bits of trivia about the self-made billionaire.

Below, CNBC Make It rounded up eight unexpected facts about Buffett, revealed both in the new documentary and elsewhere.

He used to drink Pepsi

Buffett has always loved soda, but he wasn't always a Coca-Cola fanatic.

"I remember as a kid, we used to play poker with Howie, and his dad would come down in the middle of the night in a bathrobe. In those days, he drank Pepsi," says Jim Ross, a childhood friend of Buffett's son Howard.

In fact, his son called him "Pepsi Warren," Ross says.

These days, Buffett is a Coke loyalist. He spent more than $1 billion on Coca-Cola stock in 1988 and drinks numerous cans every day. "I'm one quarter Coca-Cola," Buffett once told Fortune. "If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings."

Coca-Cola is among the companies in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio
Contributor | Bloomberg | Getty Images

He shoplifted from Sears as a teen

Buffett has spent the majority of his life in Omaha, Nebraska, but he lived in Washington, D.C. for a while during his teen years after his father was elected to Congress and moved the family east.

Buffett wasn't too happy about the move and found himself rebelling against both his parents and his new environment. "I was rebellious at first in school, for about year," he says. "I made a real pain of myself, but I calmed down after a while."

One of his more unruly acts included shoplifting from the local Sears. "I wasn't doing it for any reason, except rebelling, and that ran out after a while," he says.

His wild streak can't be attributed entirely to strong feelings about D.C. itself. "It wasn't so much what I thought of Washington," he says. "I hated leaving Omaha."

Warren Buffett keeps his breakfast under $3.17

He once ran away from home

Buffett and two friends also attempted to run away from home once.

"We got out to Wisconsin Avenue and we started hitchhiking," he says. "Three kids hitchhiking was not the easiest thing to do."

The group quickly learned their lesson: "The first guy that picked us up was a real nut," Buffett says. "We all got into the car and we said, 'Where are you going?' And he said, 'I'm going to hell, do you want to come along?' And we immediately decided this was not exactly what we'd expected."

They switched drivers and eventually made their way back home, but not before reaching Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Portrait of Warren Buffett, January 1980.
Lee Balterman | The LIFE Images Collection | Getty Images

His high school yearbook called him a 'future stock broker'

Buffett's yearbook from Woodrow Wilson Senior High in D.C. was pretty insightful about the future Berkshire Hathaway chairman: He was listed as "a future stock broker." He was also on the debate and golf teams.

"Before I came to Washington, I had about $120 and when I left, I had about $10,000," he says.

Although you're more likely to find the billionaire reading in his office at Berkshire Hathaway than on the floor of the stock exchange, he's arguably the best investor on the planet.

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He earned $175 a month delivering papers

One of Buffett's first jobs was delivering papers for The Washington Post, a memory he honors by hosting a newspaper throwing contest every year at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting.

The job earned Buffett $175 a month, Buffett recalls in the documentary, which originally he thought meant "no reason to go to college."

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He picks friends up from the airport himself

Whenever Bill Gates makes the trek to visit Buffett in Omaha, the investor always picks his friend up at the airport himself.

"It's a small gesture, but it means the world to me," Gates wrote on a recent Instagram post. "I'm always impatient for the plane doors to open, because I know Warren will be waiting with a new story or a joke."

He has 'instructive art' hanging on his office walls

In his office, Buffett has copies of old New York Times front pages depicting economic crises like the Panic of 1907 and the Great Depression.

"I wanted to put on the walls days of extreme panic in Wall Street just as a reminder that anything can happen in this world," he says in HBO's documentary, "Becoming Warren Buffett." "It's instructive art, you can call it."

He still uses coupons

The self-made billionaire still values a good deal. Buffett once bought Gates, the second-richest man in the world, lunch at McDonald's with coupons.

Warren Buffett: Investor. Teacher. Icon.
Premieres May 4 | Friday 10p ET/PT on CNBC

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