A Look At The Life of Susan Buffet – Warren Buffet’s First Wife and How She Died

The love between Warren Buffet and his wife Sussan remains one of the billionaire stories that kept people’s attention even years after their separation. Even though they’ve not been together for a really long time towards the later years of their lives, the two were never officially divorced until death eventually separated them in 2004 when Sussan Buffet passed on.

What remains interesting about Warren and his wife was their ability to maintain a cordial relationship despite the introduction of Astrid Menks into their love life. Have you ever received a Christmas card signed by Warren, Susie, and Astrid? That is a typical example of how strange the relationship between the three was. Their love life, though unconventional, remained one topic about the Buffets that cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Here is more to know about the investor and his life with his first wife Susie.

Who is Sussan Buffet?

Best known as the first wife of famous American business magnate Warren Edward Buffett, Sussan was an American businesswoman, singer, activist, and the director of Berkshire Hathaway. She was born on June 15, 1932, in Omaha, Nebraska. Before taking up her husband’s name, Sussan was originally known as Susan Thompson with her father’s name being William Hertzog Thompson; a psychologist, minister, and one-time campaign manager for Howard Buffett. Her father was also famous as a dean at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Sussan attended  Omaha Central High School and after graduation, she moved to Northwestern University where she met Warren. Although the Thompsons and the Warrens knew each other, Susie only got close to Warren in a relationship through Warren’s sister Roberta Buffett, who happened to be Sussan’s roommate. The couple got married in 1952 in the Omaha-based Dundee Presbyterian Church and their union was blessed with three children: Susan (born July 30, 1953), Howard (born December 16, 1954), and Peter (born May 4, 1958).

Being also interested in music, Sussan performed occasionally as a cabaret singer. She even had a one-night performance at an Omaha theatre in 1977 and it was her love for music that led to her partial separation from Warren Buffet.

What Happened To Warren Buffet’s First Wife?

The relationship between Warren and Sussan Buffet faced a huge challenge after Sussan decided to leave her husband to become a singer. She was encouraged by a New York-born pop singer, composer, and producer Neil Sedaka, to give her singing career a trial, and so she left Warren and moved to San Francisco to begin her singing career. Warren was initially devastated about the new arrangement, but he later adjusted, of course, through the help of his wife who introduced him to many ladies, including Astrid Menks who later became Warren’s second wife.

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Sussan Buffett husband, Astrid
Sussan Buffet with her husband Warren and Astrid

Sussan introduced waitress Menks to Warren in 1978 when she asked her to take care of Waren while she (Susan) was away. With her support, Menks moved in to live with Warren in their home in Omaha. During an interview, Sussan reportedly described Menks as a wonderful person, adding that the waitress takes good care of Warren which she appreciates. Warren went further to say that Susie puts him together and Astrid keeps them together.

Despite being physically apart from each other, Sussan Buffet remained Warren’s best friend and partner until her death in 2004. He even blamed his wife’s leaving on himself saying it was definitely 95% his fault. The two were often seen together attending public functions as husband and wife.

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How Did Sussan Buffet Die?

Sussan Buffet was 72 years old when she died on July 29, 2004, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. She was first diagnosed with oral cancer in October 2003, she then had surgery, radiation therapy, and facial reconstruction, and with support from her husband and children, she recovered from the illness. As their own way of contributing to the society, the Buffets pledged $6 million to five California doctors committed to the study of oral cancer. Having fully recovered, she even attended the Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting where she was a director.

Sussan died during the summer of 2004 in Cody, Wyoming and Warren who was grief-stricken by her departure failed to attend the funeral service. Prior to her death, she owned 2 percent of  Berkshire Hathaway’s stock, which is about $3 billion. She would have had a share of her husband’s fortune which according to Forbes magazines is worth $84.9 billion.

Two years after Susan’s death, Warren Buffett and Menks got married in a ceremony that held at Warren’s daughter Susie Buffett’s Omaha home. Unlike is the fashion for many wealthy personalities, the wedding was low-key with no business leaders present. Even’s Warren’s two sons were absent.

Chika Udeh
Chika Udeh
Chika holds a B.A in English language/History and has over 5 years experience in content development and journalism. She loves playing with writing, wordsmiths, and storytelling in all its forms, and when she is not writing about famous people and events that matter, she is probably listening or dancing to some cool jams.


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