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Warren Buffett Timeline

A Chronological History of the Oracle of Omaha: 1977-1989

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  • 1977: Berkshire indirectly purchases the Buffalo Evening News for $32.5 million. He would later be brought up on antitrust charges by a competing paper.
  • 1977: Susie leaves Warren, although not officially divorcing him. Warren is crushed.
  • 1978: Susie introduces Warren to Astrid, who eventually moves in with him.
  • 1979: Berkshire trades at $290 per share. Warren's personal fortune is approximately $140 million, but he was living solely on a salary of $50,000 per year.
  • 1979: Berkshire begins to acquire stock in ABC.
  • 1981: Munger and Buffett create the Berkshire Charitable Contribution plan, allowing each shareholder to donate some of the company's profits to his or her personal charities.
  • 1983: Berkshire ends the year with $1.3 billion in its corporate stock portfolio.
  • 1983: Berkshire begins the year at $775 per share, and ends at $1,310. Warren's personal net worth is $620 million. He makes the Forbes list for the first time.
  • 1983: Buffett purchases Nebraska Furniture Mart for $60 million. It turns out to be one of his best investments yet.
  • 1985: Buffett finally shuts down the Berkshire textile mills after years of sustaining it. He refuses to allow it to drain capital from shareholders.
  • 1985: Warren helps orchestrate the merger between ABC and Cap Cities. He is forced to leave the Board of the Washington Post [Federal legislation prohibited him sitting on the Boards of both Capital Cities and Kay Graham's Washington Post.
  • 1985: Buffett purchases Scott & Fetzer for Berkshire's collection of businesses. It costs around $315 million, and boasts such products as Kirby vacuums and the World Book Encyclopedia.
  • 1986: Berkshire breaks $3,000 per share.
  • 1987: In the immediate crash and aftermath of October, Berkshire loses 25% of its value, dropping from $4,230 per share to around $3,170. The day of the crash, Buffett loses $342 million personally.
  • 1988: Buffett begins buying stock in Coca-Cola, eventually purchasing up to 7 percent of the company for $1.02 billion. It will turn out to be one of Berkshire's most lucrative investments.
  • 1989: Berkshire rises from $4,800 per share to over $8,000. Warren now has a personal fortune of $3.8 billion.

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