"Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist" by Roger Lowenstein
Brian Gongol

It's hard to tell whether this book is so engrossing because of its subject or because of the writing. It's probably a combination of the two. Even though Warren Buffett himself took little or no part in helping Lowenstein to research and write the book, one finishes it with an extremely strong sense of who Buffett is and how he came to be that way. Perhaps the most refreshing element of Buffett's character is his insistence that the act of creating tangible value for a customer is considerably more meritorious than shuffling numbers among columns in an accounting ledger and calling it "value." If more people would put down their celebrity gossip magazines and pick up this outstanding biography, we'd all be better-off.

A quick biographical summary from the book:

Year Age Event Page
1930 born
1945 14 buys 40 acres of Nebraska farmland p. 23
1957 27 buys house on Farnam Street p. 63
1962 32 manages $7.2 million in capital through Buffett Partnerships p. 73
1964 34 personal net worth about $4 million p. 86
1965 35 takes over Berkshire Hathaway p. 130
1967 37 personal net worth about $10 million p. 106
1967 37 Berkshire Hathaway buys first insurance company p. 134
1969 39 closes Buffett Partnerships p. 114
1970 40 personal net worth about $125 million p. 141
1977 47 personal net worth about $70 million p. 215
1977 47 buys Buffalo Evening News