Leila's words struck Doris with such force that she hasn't ever been able to see in herself what the rest of the world sees in her. "The more important the person is to you, the more it sticks," Warren said.
Doris was gorgeous and bright, though a little bit of a late bloomer. "Doris was a total knockout and smart as anybody could be. She was a star as long as I can remember. Actually, more so than either Bertie or me. And she had a father who told her she was a star, but not a mother." Warren was two years behind her in school and he would hear stories about his older sister. "Everybody knew who Doris was. And there were plenty of boys. No shortage.
"I tell people never to use sarcasm with their kids," he said. "If you become a great actress or a billionaire, it sticks with you. She remembers the remarks from my mother more so than that every boy in the senior class wanted to go out with her. She had it all. She still does."
For years, grandson Alex said, "She felt like people in the family looked down on her because she wore her whole life on her sleeve. Everybody knew about her failed marriages. And 1987 [the mistake that wiped her out in the stock market crash] was so well-documented by the media. She felt like the black sheep of the family." It was a role her mother had prepared Doris for since she was three.
One year syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers, who was a stockholder in Berkshire Hathaway, came to an annual meeting. "What would you ask her?" someone asked Leila.
"What do you do," she replied, "when you don't like your children?"
In "Giving It All Away" author Michael Zitz examines the life of Doris Buffett -- Warren Buffett's older sister -- from growing up with an emotional abusive mother to donating more than $100 million to support women and children in need.