A philanthropist and farmer at heart, Howard, the charitable heir of Warren Buffett, has cultivated a legacy beyond wealth. He is the product of pragmatic parenting, infused with humility and purposeful living.

He is the heir to centibillionaire Warren Buffet, the greatest investor and philanthropist of the 20th century. He mingles with Tony Blair’s family and spends quality time with the Prince of Wales at Clarence House during his London visits. Yet, at heart, Howard Buffet, worth $400 million, is a farmer. His endeavors go far beyond growing crops like corn and soybean on his farms. The 69-year-old Buffet runs three foundation-operated research farms, boasting 1,500 acres in Arizona and 9,200 acres in South Africa, aiming to end global hunger through his foundation’s work. However, as they say, it is the journey, not the destination, that’s more interesting. To understand how the son and heir of Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairperson, worth $137 billion, enjoys the South African veldt and gets his hands dirty, we delved into aspects of his childhood and upbringing. It all traces back to the way Warren and Susan raised their second-born son-

The Buffet family in Omaha in 1956

A simple childhood of a billionaire father-

Howard, the middle child of Warren Buffet, never took his father’s status as a demigod in Omaha or his wealth seriously. He shoveled snow and took out the rubbish for pocket money. “I had this deal with my dad that I got no Christmas or birthday presents for three years, and then he bought me a car. Even then, I had to work three summers to pay the last $2,500 (for the car).”

Via Youtube / @60 Minutes

A heir with humble beginnings-

Like his siblings, older sister Susan and younger brother Peter, Howard is also a college dropout. He left Augustana College, a private Lutheran college in Illinois, and started working early on. His initial job was digging basements, operating a bulldozer, working for See’s Candies—one of his dad’s companies—and farming.

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Via Youtube / @6TODAY

Warren taught his children the value of hard work early on, instilling the lesson that there are no free lunches in the world. Howard once stated, “My parents had a gardener when I was growing up, and he and I would dig in the dirt together—my mom and dad were definitely not digging with me! When I was 5, he helped me plant some corn in our backyard, and I remember how fascinating it was to watch it grow. Little did I know that 50 years later, I’d be growing corn in a different way.”

To get a better understanding of his passion for farming, one needs to know that of the $1 million received from his philanthropist father every 5 birthdays in the 1990s, Howie bought a farm with his first check.

A parenting based on possibilities not pressure-, or princely treatments-

Warren Buffet is no ordinary man, and he did not raise his children in an ordinary fashion either. Instead of lavishing a fortune on his three children, Warren founded charitable trusts to fund their chosen causes. Howard, the farmer, has since endeavored to eradicate hunger in the US and Africa. With his foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, established in 1999, he works tirelessly towards improving the quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations. Howard spends $50 million a year on various programs around the world, particularly in Africa.

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Howard Buffet at his farm. Screengrab / PBS

Still, the money did not just fall into Howard’s lap. The man who sat on the board of Coca-Cola (he stepped down in 2016 to focus on charity) began farming in Tekamah, Nebraska, in 1977. His affluent father purchased the property for $760,000 and charged him rent. Fascinatingly, the rent paid depended on his weight. If Howie weighed more than 182.5 lbs, he’d have to pay 26%; if he was under, he’d pay 22%, per Business Insider.

Howard with his father on the ‘Today’ show.

A ‘do what you love approach’-

Howard Buffet’s example shows the impact of practical education on a child. Not once did the billionaire train his son to be better suited for the upscale office of Berkshire Hathaway. “The truth is, if Dad loaded us with money, he could not help but control us. He let us go our own way. ‘Find something you love to do,’ he’s always said, ‘and do it.” The sexagenarian has authored over a dozen books and traveled to more than 95 countries documenting food and conservation challenges, per Forbes.

The recipient of the World Ecology Award is a worthy heir to one of the wealthiest men on the planet, with not just his head firmly planted on his shoulders but his hands and feet on the ground!

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.