Three generations of Buffetts recently sat down with NY1 at the New York Public Library to discuss a new book written by Warren Buffett’s son and grandson called "40 Chances." NY1's Annika Pergament filed the following report.
Back in 2006, billionaire investor Warren Buffett gave his son Howard a challenge most of us could only dream about: If you had billions of dollars to do something important – what would you do?
"I’d seen my three children develop into very mature individuals who cared about other people and who would use resources wisely to help other people, each in their own way," Buffett said.
Howard G. Buffett, a farmer by profession, set out to help the most vulnerable people on earth – nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security. In his book "40 Chances" written with his son Howard W., he talks about what drives him to take on such a big issue.
"The people that face the biggest challenges are the most resilient people I’ve seen and they don’t give up. So if they’re living in those circumstances and they don’t give up, I don’t know how we give up on them," said Howard G. Buffett.
The title – "40 Chances" – comes from the idea that farmers only have about 40 growing seasons in a lifetime. Forty chances to plant a crop. Howard thinks that applies to all of us – we have limited chances to make a difference. And when it comes to world hunger he’s given himself a deadline: 40 years to put more than $3 billion to work on his challenge.
"But really, its advocacy, and awareness, and convincing people that it’s worth investing – that every human being is worth investing in," said Howard G. Buffett.
NY1 also asked the patriarch of the family about an issue that’s been on the minds of many New Yorkers these days -- the mayoral election -- and what advice he has for the man who will succeed Mayor Bloomberg.
"I think you’ve got a very valuable asset, you’ve got this great library, you’ve got all kinds of things going for you in New York," said Warren Buffett.
And despite the recent government shutdown and seemingly intractable gridlock in Washington, Buffett remains optimistic about the country's future.
"This country always comes back. No one that’s been against America in 237 years has ever been right," Buffett said.