> Warren Buffett Blog: Warren Buffett almost never met Bill Gates

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Warren Buffett almost never met Bill Gates

It was the summer of 1991 where a 35-year-old Bill Gates had an opportunity to meet the then 60 year old Warren Buffett. Bill Gates dismissed this opportunity initially describing Buffett as "some guy who moved money around for a living". Despite friends and family’s insistence, Gates wasn’t keen to drive a few hours to meet this Warren Buffett.

That friendship has changed the face of American philanthropy. Writing on his blog, Gates remembers his initial resistance and the phone conversation he had with his mother, Mary Gates, that changed his mind about meeting Buffett.

Gates writes:

    "In 1991, when my mother called me to come out to our vacation home on Hood Canal to meet a group of friends, including Warren, I didn’t want to go. I told her I was too busy at work. Warren would be interesting, my mother insisted. But I wasn’t convinced. “Look, he just buys and sells pieces of paper. That’s not real value added. I don’t think we’d have much in common,” I told her. Eventually, she persuaded me to go."

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation now is an almost 40 billion endowment and Warren Buffett serves as a trustee.