Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger gives $40 million in stock to California museum

Investor Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right-hand man for more than five decades, has made a $40 million gift to a California museum he has supported in the past

ByJOSH FUNK AP business writer

OMAHA, Neb. — Investor Charlie Munger, who’s been Warren Buffett’s right-hand man for more than five decades, has made a $40 million gift to a California museum that he’s supported in the past.

Munger gave 77 Class A Berkshire Hathaway shares to the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Museum in San Marino, California, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At Thursday’s closing price of $523,545.06 a share, that made the gift worth more than $40.3 million.

A decade ago, he gave the Huntington museum nearly $33 million worth of Berkshire stock to help pay for a new education and visitors center. It wasn’t immediately clear what the latest gift will be used for. A museum spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message Thursday afternoon.

Once a billionaire, Munger’s fortune never rivaled his best friend Buffett’s. But Munger lost his billionaire status long ago as he steadily gave away his fortune, and roughly $1 billion of his stock went into a charitable trust in 2010 after his wife died.

After his latest donation, Munger still holds 4,033 Class A Berkshire shares. But back in 2000 he held 15,911 shares, which would be worth more than $8.3 billion today if he’d hung onto it all.

Munger, who is known for his quick wit and acerbic manner, will turn 100 in January. He often quips that “He has nothing more to add” after some of Buffett’s more long winded answers at Berkshire’s legendary shareholder meetings, but he’ll also cut right to the heart of an issue in his own answers. For instance, he’s called cryptocurrencies “evil” and “stupid because they’re likely to go to zero” and are far too “useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth.”

The conglomerate that Munger helped Buffett build owns dozens of companies, including BNSF railroad, Geico insurance and several major utilities along with well-known brands like See’s Candy and Dairy Queen along with numerous manufacturing firms. Although Berkshire is based in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett lives, Munger has long lived in southern California, so much of his charitable giving has been focused on the West Coast.

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