Billionaire Investor, Pseudo-Architect, and Part-Time Montecito Resident Offered $200 Million to UC Santa Barbara if the Massive Dormitory was Built
Billionaire investor Charlie Munger, long-time friend and business partner of Warren Buffett, has died. He was 99 years old.
Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm where Munger served as vice chairman, said in a press release that Munger passed “peacefully” on Tuesday morning in a California hospital.
Charles Thomas Munger was born on January 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. He served in the US Army during World War II after leaving the University of Michigan in 1943 at the age of 19. Following the war, Munger attended Harvard Law School and graduated with honors in 1948 and moved to Southern California, where he practiced real estate law.
In 1959 Munger met Buffett in Omaha and the two struck up a fast friendship. Munger officially joined Berkshire Hathaway as a vice chairman in 1978.
Munger, who was worth about $2.7 billion according to Forbes, built an exclusive ocean front community near Miramar Beach in Montecito over thirty years ago. Although it’s officially named “Sea Meadow,” some residents refer to the community as “Mungerville.” He took up part-time residence in his 4,600 square foot home in this community.
More recently Munger has been known in the local community as the billionaire who offered UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) $200 million to build an 11-story dormitory without windows.
Dubbed “Dormzilla” by the Independent’s Tyler Hayden, the building was expected to hold 4,500 students and cost over $1 billion to construct.
UCSB was full steam ahead to bring necessary housing to the area until the proposed structure gained national attention prompting backlash from students, faculty, and residents while premier architect associations condemned the project as “inhumane.”
Despite the controversy, Munger didn’t budge on the plan except for installing fake windows with ambient lighting. The university quietly trashed the project this past summer.