“THERE they are!” exclaimed Howard G. Buffett, the Illinois corn farmer, philanthropist and down-home son of one of the world’s richest men, as he steered his dusty Toyota Land Cruiser toward a pair of nature’s fastest and most majestic creatures.
Orion and Titan — cheetahs bought at $2,000 apiece for the cheetah conservation reserve he established here — sat smack in the middle of the dirt road. They licked each other’s faces and ambled languorously into the bush. Then one of them scented prey. His elegant body elongated into a tensile creep, the tip of his tail twitching.
Despite his affection for Orion and Titan, Mr. Buffett’s recent drive through the Jubatus Cheetah Reserve is likely to be among his last. He has decided to sell the 6,000 acres of bush in
The reserve was his original philanthropic stake in
The making of this accidental philanthropist — the accidental part being his birth as the son of the legendary investor Warren E. Buffett — is an American tale of wealth and conscience passed on to a second generation. The elder Mr. Buffett, 79, did not believe in giving his money to his children to spend on themselves, but decades ago he did begin preparing them to give some of it away.
Related link: The Charlie Rose Show (Howard Buffett is on the show that aired on 10/16/09 – use the ‘Archive’ tab to locate)