Doris Buffett

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Doris Buffett
Doris Buffett visits Gladys P. Todd Academy students, mentors (23622779750).jpg
Doris Buffett

(1928-02-12) February 12, 1928 (age 92)
Years active1996 - present
Known forPhilanthropy
Notable work
Sunshine Lady Foundation,
Learning By Giving Foundation,
Letters Foundation
Parent(s)Howard Buffett
Leila Stahl Buffett
FamilyWarren Buffett (brother),
Roberta Buffett Elliott (sister),
Peter Buffett (nephew),
Susan Alice Buffett (niece)
Howard Graham Buffett (nephew)

Doris Buffett (b. February 12, 1928) is an American philanthropist also known as the 'retail' philanthropist and the founder of The Sunshine Lady Foundation, The Learning By Giving Foundation, and The Letters Foundation who she co-founded alongside her younger brother, billionaire Warren Buffett.[1][2] She is also the daughter of U.S. politician and stockbroker Howard Homan Buffett. Doris Buffett intends to give all of her money away before she dies.[3][4][5]


Doris Buffett is the granddaughter of Ernest Buffett who operated a family grocery store in Omaha, Nebraska. Her father Howard Homan Buffett, founded the Omaha based investment business Buffett-Falk & Company in 1931.[6] She is the oldest sister of Warren Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, and the third-wealthiest person in the world. Buffett grew up in Kansas, suffered through the Great Depression and saw frugal times as a young wife before her inheritance that now allows her to do philanthropic work.[3][7] She was married four times and has fought two bouts of cancer.

Buffett attracted attention with the publication of a 2010 book titled, “Giving It All Away: The Doris Buffett Story,” which was authored by Michael Zitz. The book, which she pursued at the urging of her brother Warren Buffett and the lead singer of U2 Bono, describes Doris' background and life as a philanthropist.[8] Buffett has donated $100 million of her own money, mostly to needy individuals, often taking the time to call and write to them personally and determine the best way to help. Through her Sunshine Lady Foundation she has helped thousands of children get an education or attend camp, sponsored young women in Afghanistan and supports prison education programs amongst other philanthropy work. Her goal is to give away her entire fortune, which remains substantial despite her generosity and the stock market crash of 2008.[3][9]

She established the Letters Foundation alongside her brother Warren Buffett to provide humanitarian grants to people experiencing a crisis through no fault of their own, when no other options exist. A hand-up and not hand-out is her philanthropy principle. Her brother Warren Buffett helped fund some of the foundation’s early projects though later she began providing funds herself from Berkshire Hathway stocks she owned. Unlike brother Warren Buffett who grants in 'wholesale', Doris Buffett believes in small and direct grants to people with financial difficulties hence the nickname 'retail' philanthropist.[10][1] "She is far more philanthropic than I am. She identifies with the underdog. I do it in a wholesale way, but not on a one-on-one basis. She really wants to know their stories," Warren Buffett said to the Wall Street Journal.[2]

Doris Buffett also established the Learning By Giving Foundation which promotes the study of experiential philanthropy at various undergraduate colleges across the United States.

Buffett made her home in Fredericksburg, Virginia and moved to Boston in 2016 to be closer to family, and to receive treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.[11][12]

In December 2018, Doris released a second book titled Letters to Doris: One Woman's Quest to Help Those With Nowhere Else to Turn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Webster, Camilla. "The Buffett Legacy: The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  2. ^ a b Beatty, Sally (2007-08-03). "The Other Buffett". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  3. ^ a b c writer, Steve Jordon World-Herald staff. "Doris Buffett has Alzheimer's, and now her foundation is the basis of a dispute". Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  4. ^ "Philanthropist Doris Buffett shares life anecdotes at museum benefit". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  5. ^ Center, Foundation. "Doris Buffett Is Looking for a Few Good Volunteers". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  6. ^ "What's So Great about Warren Buffett, Anyway? | InvestingAnswers". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  7. ^ Jacobs, MICHAEL ZITZ PHOTO BY Erik. "Difference Maker Hall of Fame: Doris Buffett giving fortune away to help improve others' lives". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  8. ^ {{Cite web|url=
  9. ^ LANCE-STAR, CATHY JETT THE FREE. "Fredericksburg renames public pool in honor of philanthropist Doris Buffett, sister of Warren Buffett". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  10. ^ Suchergebnisse (2010-05-01). Giving It All Away the Doris Buffett Sto: The Doris Buffett Story. Sag Harbor, NY: Permanent Pr Pub Co. ISBN 9781579622091.
  11. ^ LANCE-STAR, THE EDITORIAL PAGE STAFF OF THE FREE. "EDITORIAL: Buffett's philanthropy has left its mark". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  12. ^ "Doris Buffett has Alzheimer's, and now her foundation is the basis of a dispute". Business Breaking News. 2018-05-13. Retrieved 2018-08-10.

External links[edit]

Official website

Buffett interview