A Noteable August Birthday

Originally published in Flourishing July/August 2013.

Howard Homan Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska on August 13, 1903.  Like his famous son, Warren, Howard maintained a conservative lifestyle throughout his life, a lifelong resident of Omaha.

But, while Warren Buffett, America’s greatest and most famous investor, is aligned with the American left on most political issues, and a strong supporter of President Obama; Howard might well have supported someone like the libertarian, former Texas Congressman, Ron Paul.  Both Ron Paul and Howard Buffett had friendly, ongoing relationships with Murray Rothbard (1926—1995), a seminal figure in the early development of the libertarian movement.  Howard served four full terms as a Republican Congressman in the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

It’s interesting to me that Rothbard and Warren Buffett were about the same age, and both attended Columbia University.  While at Columbia, Buffett studied under the dean of value investing, Benjamin Graham; Rothbard was influenced by the greatest of the Austrian economists, Ludwig von Mises, attending Mises’ private seminars, while pursuing his PhD. in Economics.  Both Warren and his father earned their baccalaureate degrees at the University of Nebraska.

Howard Buffett was never well known outside the confines of his own Congressional district, but he did gain notoriety for his opposition to the Korean War.  He tried, but failed, to have classified documents released, which he said would prove that the United States was the instigator of that conflict.  He was also opposed to the Marshall Plan and  the Truman Doctrine.  Very Ron Paul-like, don’t you think?

(Please see the comment on Howard’s character in the left hand column.  They may have had differing political views, but in almost every way that really matters, Warren Buffett is his father’s son.)

Howard Buffett died on April 30, 1964. mh