Giving It All Away: The Doris Buffett Story

By award-winning reporter and columnist Michael Zitz
With a foreword by Warren Buffett

Recent print and video interviews...

Doris on MSNBC's Morning Joe

Los Angeles Times story from January 2011.

Doris Buffett chats with Charlie Rose. Double-click on Doris to start the video.

CNN American Morning talks with Doris Buffett

Nightline with Doris and Warren Buffett

More Doris Buffett on Fox's Countdown to the Closing Bell

Doris Buffett Giving It All Away on Good Morning America

New York's WPIX chats with Doris August 18.


Praise for the book:

Alice Schroeder, author of "The Snowball", says "Doris has lived an unusual life and the book is an interesting read."

A starred review and kudos in Publishers Weekly "... a lively inspirational read."

From Kirkus: "The author offers moving examples of Doris' philanthropy...This is a readable portrait of a remarkable individual."

Richmond Times-Dispatch says this is "...a stirring and profoundly moving story."


Doris Buffett's biography made a BIG impression at the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder's meeting in Omaha on May 1.


Doris Buffett and author Michael Zitz signed hundreds of books at The Griffin on April 24. They would like to thank everyone who patiently waited in line for hours.


At 82 years young, Doris, big sister of billionaire Warren, is on a mission. When she inherited millions in Berkshire Hathaway stock from a family trust in 1996, instead of clinging to it like a security blanket, she dedicated the rest of her life to giving it away—all of it—mostly to individuals in trouble through no fault of their own. So far she’s given away $100 million of her own money. She says she wants to give it all away; that she wants the last check she writes to bounce due to “insufficient funds.”

She began the Sunshine Lady Foundation, helping battered women, sick children, and at-risk kids who otherwise would never have had the chance to go to college. She’s also funding college programs for prison inmates, lowering recidivism. And she does it through “retail philanthropy,” often making personal phone calls to those who need help, one by one.

The book, written with her full cooperation, begins with her growing up as the primary target of an abusive mother’s rage, goes on to talk about her having to watch every penny to take care of her family as a young wife and mother, and how, years after becoming one of the first investors in an early Warren partnership and making a fortune, she found herself $2 million in debt and almost lost her home in the 1987 stock market crash. It’s a life of many trials from which she has only gained greater strength and more magnanimity, a life in which she’s been estranged from her three children and endured four horrific marriages and divorces.

So much bad luck and pain would harden most hearts, and Doris has suffered through bouts of depression. Yet, she has kept her heart open, focusing on the needs of others.
While the Buffett name has not meant a life of ease for Doris, it has created a sense, not only of responsibility, but of urgency to help others, and to get involved in a very personal way. She’s been knocked down repeatedly, only to get up, brush herself off, and go on. So there’s no greater joy for her than knowing she’s given someone else a hand up.

More Press...

How the book came to be. Free Lance Star, April 30, 2010.

Davidson College Interview, January 2010.

Free Lance-Star story and book excerpts, April 2010.

CBS Evening News Video, December 2009.

Warren Buffett announces biography in his annual Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders, Free Lance-Star, March 2010.

 About the author:

Michael Zitz is an award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist for The Free Lance-Star, a Virginia daily. He has known Doris Buffett since 1992, before she started to do philanthropic work with her Sunshine Lady Foundation. He studied journalism at the University of Arizona, the American University and Florida Southern College. He lives in Fredericksburg, Va.


Available at your local bookshop and at these on-line retailers:

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About the Publisher:
For over thirty years, The Permanent Press has committed itself to publishing works of social and literary merit and has, over the years, gained a reputation as one of the finest independent presses in America.

Since its inception, individual authors and titles have gained over 50 literary honors, including the American Book Award, Small Press Book Awards, and New American Writing Awards. They have also been National Book Award, Edgar Award, and Hammett Prize finalists.

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