Charles Thomas Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the longtime partner of Warren Buffett, died on November 28, 2023, at the age of 99 in Santa Barbara, California. He was widely regarded as one of the most influential and respected investors, businessmen, and philanthropists of his generation.
Munger was born on January 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and later graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He practiced law in California and founded Munger, Tolles & Olson, a renowned law firm. He also became involved in real estate development and investment management.
Munger met Buffett in 1959 and they became close friends and business partners. Munger joined Berkshire Hathaway in 1978 and helped Buffett transform the company from a textile manufacturer into a diversified conglomerate with a market capitalization of over $700 billion. Munger was known for his sharp wit, unconventional wisdom, and multidisciplinary approach to investing and problem-solving. He coined the term “lollapalooza effect” to describe the phenomenon of multiple factors interacting to produce an outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Munger was also a generous philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to various causes, especially education, science, and medicine. He supported the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Caltech, UCSB, and many other institutions. He also funded the Munger Graduate Residence at Stanford, the Munger Research Center at the Huntington Library, and the Munger Physics Residence at Caltech.
Munger is survived by his seven children, 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy Jean Huggins, and his second wife, Nancy Barry Borthwick. A private funeral service will be held for the family and a public memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation or the Munger Charitable Trust.