Warren Buffett Email Explains Jack Welch Purple Shoe Question

There was a bizarre exchange between Jack Welch and Warren Buffett when they were on CBC together on a recent Monday morning episode. During the interview, the Oracle of Omaha praised Jack Welch’s incredible ability for selling purple shoes.

Don’t worry, because the mystery is solved for everybody now. Well, sort of…

Warren Buffett sent a short e-mail to CNN Money on Tuesday afternoon, late in the day. Within the e-mail, he explains that Welch was “one helluva shoe salesman” back in the day when he worked at Thom McAn.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway told us that Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, was particularly good at selling shoes of “the purple variety.” The only problem is that we need Welch to explain this further, or we’re never going to truly get the punch line of this supposed inside joke.

Here’s a quick glimpse at the e-mail in its entirety…

Jack Welch and I are both good friends of Frank Rooney, Chairman of H. H. Brown.  Frank had his 90th birthday about a year ago and Jack told a story about how he started at a Thom McAn shoe store.  He had everybody roaring with laughter as he described how he sold the shoes with the highest commission.  Jack did not realize I was referencing that story when I called in on the phone – I’m sure my call hit him by surprise.  Jack called me after the show as he then realized what I had been referencing.  It’s too bad Jack didn’t get a chance to tell the story on CNBC, as he would have had everybody rolling in the aisles. He was one helluva shoe salesman (particularly the purple variety).

Warren Buffett

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