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Charlie Munger (in 2019)

Photo: Houston Cofield / Bloomberg / Getty Images

The longtime vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and confidant of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, has died. This was announced by the U.S. company. According to his family, Munger died in a hospital in California at the age of 99, it said in a statement. In it, Buffett stated that Berkshire could not have achieved its current status "without Charlie's inspiration, wisdom and involvement." Munger has been vice chairman of the investment company, which is headed by Buffett, since 1978.

Munger was active at Berkshire Hathaway for decades along with Buffett, 93. He was Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and one of the largest shareholders. This also made him a billionaire. The financial magazine »Forbes« recently estimated Munger's fortune at 2.7 billion dollars (2.5 billion euros). Warren Buffett has a fortune of $119.5 billion, making him the sixth-richest person in the world. Berkshire Hathaway owns, among others, the insurer Geico and the railroad company BNSF.

Munger preferred to stay in the background. He left the Berkshire spotlight to Buffett and often downplayed his contribution to the company's remarkable success.

However, Buffett always credited Munger with pushing him to buy big companies beyond his early value investing strategies. "Charlie taught me a lot about company valuation and about human nature," Buffett said in 2008.

Munger, born in 1924, grew up in the state of Nebraska. He worked at Buffett's grandfather's supermarket. Munger studied mathematics at the University of Michigan in the 1948s. However, he dropped out of college to serve as a meteorologist in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Subsequently, he earned a law degree from Harvard University in <>, although he did not have a bachelor's degree.

The two investors first met in 1959, when Munger was known to end Buffett's remarks at Berkshire meetings with the phrase, "I have nothing to add."