Why Did Warren Buffett Learn the Ukulele?

Warren Buffett, billionaire philanthropist investor, is one of the richest men in the world. People have paid literally thousands of dollars for lunch with him, and he speaks frequently at colleges and businesses across the world. He’s even been dubbed the “Oracle of Omaha” due to his investing genius. He also plays the ukulele.

It might seem like an odd hobby for someone who has basically everything, but it’s not as odd as you think. And, as it turns out, Buffett has been playing the ukulele for far longer than he’s been investing in the stock market. However, his humble beginnings with this tiny four-stringed instrument may surprise you.

According to Buffett, he first picked up the ukulele when he was 18. He was working a couple of different jobs in Omaha during the summer right after he started college, and while he was home he developed a crush on a local girl named Betty Gallagher. Unfortunately, Betty was already dating someone else, and when young Buffett sized up his competition to see what Betty’s boyfriend had that he didn’t, he came to a single conclusion: he needed to learn to play the ukulele.

So, Buffett picked up a ukulele, learned how to play, and serenaded Betty. While his musical efforts didn’t impress the girl (she instead stayed with her boyfriend), he did gain a hobby that he has kept for more than 60 years. In fact, Buffett is well-known for his ukulele skills, and has even played with the likes of Bon Jovi for a charity in 2012. Check out the video below:

Over the years, Buffett has turned several of his friends on the charms of the ukulele, including Bill Gates whom Buffett taught to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” as a lullaby for his child.

Warren Buffett also has one of two custom-made Dairy Queen ukuleles; the other he signed “Warren Five Finger Buffett” and auctioned off to charity. The signed DQ ukulele went for more than $11,000, and the money was donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.

Not too bad for a guy who started simply to impress a high school sweetheart.

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