ASTRID MENKS: Exposing the life of Warren Buffett’s wife

Astrid Menks is the second wife of Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest and most famous investors.

Despite her high-profile relationship, Menks has managed to stay out of the spotlight and away from gossip columns, tabloids, and magazines.

However, in this article, we expose her incredible life story and reveal how her relationship with Buffett began as an unusual and somewhat salacious love triangle, which involved her best friend.

Screen Shot 2022 08 26 at 1.33.14 pm 1 Astrid Menks
Astrid Menks (Source: Instagram)

Who is Astrid Menks?

Astrid Beaté Menks was born in Latvia in 1946.

Menks, her parents, and her five siblings emigrated to the United States when she was five years old. It is unknown where the family lived before leaving Europe or what Menks’ parents did for work.

The Menks settled on a farm in Verdell, Nebraska, with their sponsors. This property lacked running water or electricity, and her family later relocated to Omaha.

Shortly after, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Menks and her two younger brothers were placed in the Immanuel Deaconess Institute.

Her father worked as a groundskeeper at the orphanage. After her mother passed away, Menks was put into foster care. 

Menks later enrolled at the University of Nebraska but had to drop out due to financial difficulties. For a time, Menks worked for Mutual of Omaha, and as a buyer and manager for a women’s clothing store.

She eventually worked in restaurants and lived in a small downtown apartment near The Old Market, one of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods.

Astrid Menks
Astrid Menks

How old is Astrid Menks?

So, what is Astrid Menks’ age? Well, Menks has not disclosed her precise birth date, but it is known she was born in 1946. Her husband is more than a decade older, having been born in Omaha in 1930. 

She was in her late 20s or early 30s when she met Buffett In the mid-1970s. They married in 2006 when Menks was 60 years old and Buffet was 76.

How did Astrid Menks meet Warren Buffett?

Menks met Buffett’s first wife, Susan Thompson Buffett, in the cocktail bar, The French Cafe.

At the time, Buffett’s wife had resumed her nightclub singing career. Through her, Menks got introduced to Buffett. Menks became good friends with the couple, and they remained so after the death of Buffett’s first wife in 2004.

The background to Menks first meeting with the businessman began when musician Neil Sedaka urged Susie Buffett to pursue a singing career. Determined to be a success, she left her husband to relocate to San Francisco. However, before departing for California, she had asked the ladies from the cocktail bar to take care of Buffett. 

Menks happened to be one of the waitresses. She was encouraged to occasionally visit Buffett, where she cooked for and cared for him.

Astrid Menks
Warren Buffett and Astrid Menks.

The relationship between Warren Buffett and Astrid Menks

Although Buffet is an accomplished businessman, he needed people who could help him out with the basics of day-to-day life. So, during his wife’s absence, Menks looked after a variety of tasks at his home and office. Besides these chores, she provided friendship for the investor.

Eventually, the friendship between Menks and Buffett developed into romance. For a while, he and Menks spent time at her apartment. Ultimately, she gave up her place and moved in with him.

The relationship between Buffett, his wife, and Menks was one of the most interesting in the world. In fact, Buffett’s former wife and Menks were, by all accounts, the best of friends and remained so even after the start of the romantic relationship.

Numerous images can be found on the internet of the ladies together going about their daily lives, often hand in hand. Furthermore, even their Christmas cards would be signed “Warren, Susie, and Menks.” Additionally, their children were supportive of their parents and treated Menks with love and respect.

Astrid Menks’ marriage to Warren Buffett

Buffet’s wife was diagnosed with oral cancer in October 2003, and she subsequently had surgery, radiation therapy, and facial reconstruction. The following May, she was well enough to attend Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder’s meeting, but she died that summer of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 72. 

Despite Buffett never having had any intentions of marrying again, he decided to marry Menks. 

On his 70th birthday, two years after his first wife’s death, Buffett married Menks in a private civil ceremony at Susie Buffett Jr.’s home. Buffett wore a suit, while Menks wore a simple turquoise blouse and white pants. 

Although Buffett was worth more than $50 billion at the time of their marriage, he and Menks held a simple ceremony. Buffett wanted to keep their wedding small to honor his former wife’s memory. 

Their judge officiant, Patricia Lamberty, presided over their brief 15-minute nuptials. Only two witnesses were present at the ceremony: Buffett’s daughter and Menks’ sister. 

Afterward, they had dinner at the Bonefish Grill beside Borsheims. The couple then jetted to San Francisco, where they celebrated their marriage with family and friends and cut a white wedding cake. 

When Buffett and Menks finally tied the knot, it had been around 40 years since they had first moved in together. 

What does Astrid Menks do?

She contributes to the local zoo, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and engages in her charitable endeavors. Additionally, she has assumed control of several nonprofit organizations that Buffett’s first wife previously supported. 

As frugal as her husband, it might still be surprising to learn that Menks continues to shop at thrift stores rather than high-end boutiques and department stores.

Menks is committed to her privacy, so the only public fact about her life is that she is married to Buffett. Neither her status as a shareholder in Buffett’s company nor her interest in publicly participating in her husband’s business dealings have been confirmed.

It would appear that Menks is content to simply support her husband, Buffett, and live a quiet, uncomplicated life with him.

What is Astrid Menks’ net worth?

Menks has never disclosed her financial information to the public, which has led to speculation about her net worth.

Despite the lack of details, her wealth has been estimated to be over $100,000 as of April 2022.

In contrast, Buffett’s finances have been of public interest for decades, and his net worth exceeds $100 billion. Buffett’s fortune made him the wealthiest person in the world in 2008 when he surpassed Bill Gates with an estimated $62 billion. Buffet gradually dropped down the ranks and was named the seventh richest in August 2022.

Menks never showed interest in Buffett’s wealth. She was happy with what she had and never wanted anything other than her husband’s love. 

Astrid Menks’ children

Menks’ family life is, by all accounts, a happy and fulfilling one. She has no children of her own, but she does have three stepchildren from Buffett’s marriage with Susie Buffett. The Buffett children and Menks reportedly have a good relationship. 

Their eldest is Susan Alice Buffett, who dedicates much of her public life to philanthropy for several nonprofits. She has done most of her philanthropic work as the chairwoman of the Sherwood Foundation, formerly the Susan A. Buffett Foundation.

The Omaha-based organization awards public education, human services, and social justice grants to improve the lives of children from low-income families. Buffett also serves on the boards of Girls, Inc., The Buffett Early Childhood Institute, and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.

Buffett’s middle child is the businessman, former politician, philanthropist, photographer, farmer, and environmentalist Howard Graham Buffett.

Since 1992, he has held the positions of President of Buffett Farms and Director of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. He was appointed to his position as a Director at The Coca-Cola Company on December 9, 2010. In addition, he served as a director at the iconic company from 1993 to 2004.

Peter Andrew Buffett, the youngest son of billionaire Buffett and Menks, is a musician, composer, author, and philanthropist. He is a co-chairman of the NoVo Foundation, which works to promote a shift in global culture from one of dominance and exploitation to one of equality and partnership.

Public and private life of Astrid Menks

While she does not grant interviews, Menks, as Warren Buffet’s wife, has been seen at her husband’s events supporting him.

The couple still lives in the same stucco house Buffett purchased in 1956 for about $30,000. It is a modest property with three bedrooms and four bathrooms located on the outskirts of Omaha. 

Astrid Menks
Warren Buffett’s relatively modest home, which he purchased for $30,000 in 1956.

Although Menks is known to be a generous person and supports many charities, she has always been private. With that in mind, she has consistently refused to discuss her life, or that of her husband, with the media.

Despite the wealth of her husband and his high public profile, Menks has ensured that her privacy remains at the forefront of her life.