Charlie Munger is part of the duo that has turned Berkshire Hathaway from a near-bankrupt New England textile operation into one of the world’s most valuable companies. As Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger is occasionally described as "Warren Buffett's right-hand man." The deep bond between the two American moguls extends further back, though—all the way back to Munger's teenage years, when he worked at Buffett & Son, a grocery store owned by Warren Buffett's grandfather. Later, Munger began his professional career as a real estate lawyer, and then started running an investment partnership of his own from 1962 to 1975. As of January 2021, he has an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion according to Forbes. In addition to his influence in the world of finance, Munger has also been a major benefactor to numerous schools and universities over the years.
Similar to Buffett, Munger is the recipient of an Ivy League education. When he first applied to Harvard Law School, his acceptance was far from a sure thing. The problem was that Munger had not yet completed his undergraduate degree, on account of prematurely leaving school to join the U.S. forces in World War II. However, Harvard decided to make an exception for Munger after the Law School's dean received a phone call from Roscoe Pound, former dean of Harvard Law and a Munger family friend. The ambitious young man would go on to prove himself in Cambridge. He excelled both inside and outside the classroom, and was notably a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. A top student, he graduated magna cum laude with a JD from Harvard Law in 1948.
Since graduating, the Berkshire Hathaway executive has returned to Harvard on numerous occasions to give speeches on some of his favorite topics. In 1995, for instance, Munger spoke extensively about the intersection of psychology and economics, and how that pair can influence us to make poor choices. During another talk in 2010, Munger explained to the Harvard community how a business model that relies on trickery is doomed to fall short. More recently, Munger visited the Harvard Law School Alumni Center, which hosted a special event to honor his legacy. Capping off this event was a lengthy public discussion that ranged from the Munger’s nontraditional path to Harvard Law, to how playing poker in law school and the army prepares you for a career in business, to advice on business ethics and finding the right people to work with, all enlivened by Munger’s legendary wit and wisdom.