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Bantam Wins Deal for Buffett Biography

The book contract, said to be worth more than $7 million, will focus on his business strategies.

October 20, 2005|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A bidding war for an authorized biography of the "ideas" of billionaire Warren Buffett has been won by the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc.

Tentatively titled "The Snowball: How Warren Buffett Collected Friends, Wisdom and Wealth," the book is scheduled to come out in 2008.

Several publishers were interested and a representative close to the deal said it was worth more than $7 million, although not as much as the reported $10 million to $12 million for former President Clinton's "My Life." Former General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jack Welch reportedly got $7.1 million for his bestseller, "Jack: Straight From the Gut."

"The Snowball" will be written by Alice Schroeder, a former insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley, where she met Buffett. This marks the first time a book will be written with his cooperation, but the contract was negotiated with Schroeder.

"Our deal is with her. She is the author," Bantam President and Publisher Irwyn Applebaum told Associated Press on Wednesday through spokeswoman Barbara Burg.

According to a statement issued Wednesday by Bantam, the book will focus on Buffett's business strategies. It will be based on the "thousands of hours" Schroeder spent with Buffett and on "unprecedented access to his files, friends and associates."

Buffett, 75, is considered of special interest for his personal wealth, estimated by Forbes magazine at $40 billion, and his folksy style.

Buffett is known as the man who built a 1956 partnership of four relatives and three friends into a holding company worth about $100 billion. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns insurance, soft drink, candy, furniture, restaurant and carpet firms.

Yet Buffett also is known to wear sweatpants and sweatshirts in his spare time. He is a fan of hamburgers, French fries and cherry Coke, and enjoys bridge and playing the ukulele.

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