Buffett’s right-hand man dies aged 99

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Berkshire Hathaway vice chair Charles Munger helped turn the company into a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate

Iconic investor Charles Munger, Warren Buffett’s righthand man and vice chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, has died in a hospital in California a month short of his 100th birthday, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement, Munger died peacefully; no cause of death has been given.

Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

While Buffett was dubbed the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ for his keen market intuition and economic forecasts, Munger earned the moniker ‘Oracle of Pasadena’ for much the same qualities, as well as his ability to clearly and simply articulate his insights. He was respected by investors all over the world, with many attending Berkshire’s annual shareholder weekends to hear his and Buffett’s thoughts on finances and life.

Munger was also known for steering Berkshire’s investment interests away from so-called ‘cigar butts’, or companies that do not have long-term potential, and toward well-run, quality companies with undervalued share prices.

Netizens have been honoring Munger online by sharing some of his well-known quotes following the news of his death, including a famous one-liner about inflation: “If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation,” Munger said at the 2010 annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting.

At the time of his death, Munger had an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion and was ranked as the 1,182nd richest person in the world, according to Forbes. He lived humbly and drove his own car, though he used a wheelchair in his final years. He was also a well-known philanthropist and a major benefactor of the University of Michigan.

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