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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Doris Buffet, the 82-year-old sister of billionaire Warren Buffet, has a simple life mission: to give away her millions before she dies ("'My goal... is for the last check I write to bounce'"). The oldest of three, Doris was raised by an unstable, emotionally abusive mother and a frequently absent father (a businessman and four-term Congressman). Adulthood provided little relief: Doris dropped out of college dropout, embarked on four disastrous marriages, suffered from depression, and maintains stormy relationships with her own grown children. It wasn't until Doris's mother died in 1975 that Doris found her niche in "retail" philanthropy, giving away her inheritance ($100 million and counting) in large part directly to individuals who write to her Sunshine Lady Foundation seeking funds for any number of reasons: to afford a glass eye, start school, or simply furnish a new bedroom for a child. Though Warren declined to help Doris in lean times and holds some opposing views (especially regarding their mother), he speaks admiringly of her here. Zitz, a journalist befriended by Buffet, lets the dynamic philanthropist-who he describes as "a combination of Gandhi, Santa Claus and Lucille Ball"-tell the majority of her own story, making this more an oral history than a conventional biography, and a lively, inspirational read for fellow philanthropists and those who depend on them. Photos.
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