Born in 1930, less than a year after the stock market crash of 1929, Warren Buffett was a child of the Great Depression. His rock-hard Republican father’s ravings against Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal won the senior Buffett three terms in Congress. Warren, an unhappy transplant from Omaha to Washington, D. C., earned more in his teens from his paper routes and pinball machine business than his high school teachers were paid.

Buffett breezed through two years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he knew more about finance than his instructors. While his contemporaries were dating and carousing, the intensely private Buffett lived finance, about which he talked volubly and irresistibly at every opportunity. He finished his undergraduate education at the University of Nebraska and his graduate studies at Columbia University, where he came under the mentorship of Benjamin Graham, whose investment methods he espoused and improved upon. Buffett was now poised to become the most successful big-time player in the world of finance. Ten thousand dollars invested with Buffett in 1956 grew to an astounding eighty million dollars by 1995.

WALL STREET JOURNAL reporter and columnist Roger Lowenstein, himself a savvy investor, has invested three years of his life in compiling this riveting biography of a highly complex, modest, and scrupulous man who has devoted his life to numbers. BUFFETT is about as perfect as a biography can be. Despite its frequent emphasis on the technology of investing, it sustains a high interest level and offers outstanding documentation, much based upon Lowenstein’s interviews with hundreds of people who know Warren Buffett.