Who Is Astrid Buffett, Warren Buffett’s Wife Who Balks at $4 Sun Valley Coffee?

Astrid Buffett is very much a 'bargain hunter and a recycler,' said Warren Buffett's biographer.

Astrid Buffett
Astrid Buffett at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 14, 2023. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Astrid Buffett, the wife of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, was overheard complaining about having to pay $4 for a cup of coffee at Allen & Co’s Sun Valley Conference last week and grumbling that she “could get a pound of coffee” for that price in other places, the New York Post reported. The comments, reportedly made at the Sun Valley Resort’s Konditorei Restaurant where $4 is the lowest-priced coffee option, would probably not surprise those familiar with the Buffett family, who have for decades maintained a frugal lifestyle despite their immense wealth.

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

Warren Buffett, the 92-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), still lives in the same house in Omaha, Neb. he purchased for $31,500 in 1958 (equivalent to about $330,000 in today’s dollars) and stops by a local McDonald’s for breakfast on his way to work every morning. His net worth is estimated at $115 billion, according to Forbes.

The spending habits of his wife, though, are less publicized. Astrid Buffett keeps an extremely low profile and rarely appears in the spotlight except when she accompanies her husband at family-oriented business events like Sun Valley.

Who is Astrid Buffett?

Astrid Buffett’s maiden name is Menks. She is the legendary investor’s second wife and is 16 years his junior. The couple married in 2006, two years after Warren Buffett’s first wife, Susan, passed away. But Astrid and Warren began dating decades earlier while Warren was still married, according to multiple reports.

Rather than a dramatic love triangle one might expect, Astrid, Warren and Susan had an unusually amicable relationship. In fact, Astrid met Warren through Susan’s introduction in the late 1970s, when Susan moved from Omaha to San Francisco to pursue a singing career. She remained married to Warren but kept the relationship open and let Astrid move in to live with Warren. Susan and Warren’s children also apparently approved of the arrangement.

Unconventional is not a bad thing,” Buffett’s daughter, Susie Buffett, told The New York Times in 2006. “More people should have unconventional marriages.”

According to a 2008 biography of Warren Buffett, the Christmas cards sent out from the Buffet home were often signed by Warren, Susie, and Astrid. And the trio were sometimes seen together in public.

A first-generation immigrant from Latvia, Astrid was a cocktail waitress at The French Cafe bar in Omaha when she met Susan, who occasionally sang at the restaurant. Susan introduced Astrid to Warren in 1978 and asked her to take care of the investor so that she could focus on her own interests and career.

After living together for more than three decades, Astrid and Warren officially married on August 30th, 2006 for Warren’s 76th birthday. The couple held a 15-minute private ceremony at Buffett’s daughter Susie’s house in Omaha.

“Who you marry, which is the ultimate partnership, is enormously important in determining the happiness in your life and your success and I was lucky in that respect,” Buffett told Forbes in 2017.

Astrid shows little sign of interest in Warren’s money. “She loves him and takes care of him. If Warren didn’t have a cent, she’d be with him,” Warren’s daughter, Susie, said in her 2006 interview with the New York Times.

Astrid has a reputation as a “bargain hunter and a recycler” in everyday life, according to Warren’s biographer, Andy Kilpatrick. But she’s as generous as her husband when it comes to charitable causes. Astrid has donated millions of dollars to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo on behalf of the Buffett family.

Who Is Astrid Buffett, Warren Buffett’s Wife Who Balks at $4 Sun Valley Coffee?