Beloved billionaire Warren Buffett has Stage I prostate cancer, the legendary investor revealed in a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders Tuesday.
Emphasizing that his "condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way," Buffett, 81, wrote, "I feel great--as if I were in my normal, excellent health--and my energy level is 100%."
Added the Nebraska native, "I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change. Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off."
Buffett is as respected for his sense of humor and commitment to philanthropy as he is for his financial acumen. (In their list of the wealthiest people in America last year, Forbes ranked Buffett second, just behind Bill Gates; Buffett's wealth is estimated to be approximately $39 billion.) In 2008, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO famously pledged to give away 85% of his Berkshire Hathaway stockholdings to charities like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
More recently, Buffett made waves in Washington when he argued that the country's wealthiest individuals should pay a higher percentage of their income in federal taxes than they currently do; President Obama is currently championing Buffett's controversial beliefs among lawmakers, dubbed the "Buffett Rule."
Buffett was married to his wife Susan for 52 years; though the couple split in 1977, they stayed married until her death in 2004. Two years later, Buffett wed girlfriend Astrid Menks, who had lived with him since his split from Susan. Buffett and his first wife have three grown children together: Susie, Howard, and Peter.