A Tribute to Doris Buffett, Philanthropist

Doris Buffett

We are sad to report that Doris Buffett passed away at the grand age of 92. Doris Buffett donated more than $100 million in her own money to help people who need it. Sister of billionaire Warren Buffett, Doris called FRAXA “The Gold Standard” in grass roots charities. She donated more than $3 million to FRAXA in challenge grants.

She was a vibrant and sparkling philanthropist who will be much missed.

Doris Buffett was introduced to FRAXA by Mary Beth and David Busby. We hope you will enjoy Mary Beth’s tribute to Doris.

I have so many wonderful memories of Doris—starting back in the early 1980’s, when she moved to the condo where David and I lived. She was up for doing things like walking down to our local restaurant and getting together a few other neighbors to visit a local museum. As we left there, Doris said, “Oh, I just feel so edified!” I don’t know why little things stick with me, but that one did. And when I told her that I had lost my Helen Corbitt cook book that had the best-ever corn bread recipe, she immediately sent me her copy of the book, saying she was not likely ever to use it again. And David and I visited her a couple of times for lunch in Fredericksburg. We went to a place where all the businessmen go and they came by our table one-by-one to greet Doris, who clearly held court there on a regular basis. Doris loved men and men loved Doris!

Most of all, though, I remember when she decided that she wanted to explore FRAXA’s work and it was then that I learned about the Sunshine Lady Foundation and the spectacular work Doris did. She was into making challenge grants, being of the opinion that her grantees should be partners of hers, not just recipients of her largess. Every time she issued us a challenge, FRAXA met that challenge. Doris liked that and she appreciated FRAXA’s energy and results and the fact that we attracted major interest from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Doris was a good and kind and thoughtful person, besides being great fun as a friend. I will so miss her, and I know many of her friends and admirers are acutely feeling her loss.

Mary Beth Busby

Doris Buffett and Mary Beth Busby at FRAXA’s 2009 Gala in Washington, DC