- Warren Buffett and Bill Gates first met 30 years ago on the weekend of July 4th.
- The investor and Microsoft co-founder expected to have little in common.
- Buffett and Gates have become close friends and philanthropic partners.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are very close friends who have partnered with philanthropy, political activism, and online bridge. Their iconic friendship started almost 30 years to the day on the weekend of July 4, 1991.
Buffett was visiting Meg Greenfield, a Washington Post editor-in-chief based in Washington state at the time, he recalls at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in 2000. Greenfield was friends with Gates’ parents, so she took Buffett to visit them. Gates initially had no interest in meeting Buffett as he had little respect for the investor’s livelihood.
“I didn’t even want to meet Warren because I was like, ‘Hey, this guy buys and sells things, and so he found some imperfections in terms of markets – it’s not adding value to the company, it’s is a zero-sum game that is almost parasitic. ‘ That was my point of view before I met him… he wasn’t going to tell me about making something up, ”Gates said at a press conference. conference in 2019.
However, Gates changed his mind after Buffett began to dot him with “insanely good questions that no one had ever asked,” he recalled in a 2016 article. blog post.
Buffett was also not thrilled to meet Gates, but he quickly became close to the Microsoft co-founder.
“We hit it off right away,” the investor said in 2000. “We had a great time. He had this chimpanzee he was going to try to explain this technical thing to. But I was sort of a chimpanzee. interesting to him, and he is an excellent teacher. “
The fateful meeting ultimately led Buffett to commit in 2006 to donating almost all of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other foundations. He hit halfway towards that goal last month and decided it was the right time to step down as a trustee of the Gates Foundation.
Buffett and Gates have indulged in plenty of antics over the past three decades, from competing in newspaper throwing and table tennis, to buying lunches at McDonald’s with coupons and a shift at Dairy. Queen, owned by Berkshire. Doors too bake a cake to celebrate Buffett’s 90th birthday last fall.
Given their special bond, the two billionaires must be very happy that they didn’t skip that July 4th rally 30 years ago.