Are Warren Buffett and Jimmy Buffett Related?

For many years I have wondered just that, but after a comment I received here the other week I finally decided to get to the bottom of it once and for all :) I’m sure you’ve laid awake many a nights wondering the same too! Haha…

Here’s what that comment said:

“It is always smart to have a little bit of Warren Buffett and a little bit of Jimmy Buffett in your portfolio.”

I couldn’t agree more ;) It was left by a Ted Jenkin over at oXYGen Financial, who then went on to say that Buffett #1 (Warren) likes to buy and keep stocks forever, whereas Buffett #2 (Jimmy) prefers to have someone else manage ’em for him through the wild mood swings as it’s “always 5 0’clock somewhere.” And indeed it is.

Now having known Jimmy Buffett my entire life as we grew up listening to him (one of the first tapes I owned was “Songs You Know by Heart!”), I have always thought of him as a pimp. And someone I’d love to party with one day – after my self-imposed alcohol ban if possible. Warren, on the other hand, has only recently come into my life as my obsession with money grew to epic proportions. But I’d equally enjoy meeting this Buffett too – only this time *without* the alcohol as I’d need to remember all those nuggets of wisdom he’d of course be passing over to me! :)

My first search into this DNA mystery led me to this article done by Fortune in 1999, and then reposted on CNN MONEY. It finds that Warren Buffett’s sister, Doris – a genealogist – had mailed out 125 questionnaires to all the Buffetts living in the U.S. trying to get to the bottom of it, and while she gets close, there was nothing really solid to link the two of them together.

“Despite the lack of absolute proof that they’re related (as of press time, no DNA testing had been conducted), Warren and Jimmy have become friends. While Jimmy insists “Uncle Warren” doesn’t slip him any investing tips, the two have been known to break out in song. “I think he’s angling to get into my will,” the billionaire Buffett jokes. “But the way things are going, I’d rather be in his.”

After that article, I found another – also by Fortune – written 8 years later :) Which involved Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife and her startup, 23andMe, which decodes DNA to help people understand their ancestry more (the name comes from our 23 paired chromosomes). And who was also apparently intrigued by the possibility of them being related!

The mystery ended shortly there after:

“About two months ago Warren and Jimmy submitted DNA to 23andMe. (Warren “just kept spitting into a little receptacle, and then we FedExed it. Not very elegant,” says his assistant. Jimmy did the same.)  When the results came back… [they] called Warren … and broke the news that he need not include Jimmy in his will… As it turns out, Jimmy and Warren do have common ancestors, but you have to go back more than 10,000 years to find them.”

So as awesome as it would have been if they were related, sadly Mr. Jimmy and Mr. Warren are not. Nor do they have some superior bloodline that can beat out 99.9999999% of mankind ;) What they are, however, are great role models to us. And one day I can only hope to run into them over a scrumptious cheeseburger in paradise!

PS: Doesn’t Jimmy look like an awful lot like Larry David now? Haha…

[Warren photo by Medill DC / Jimmy photo by Bruce Tuten]

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  1. George February 26, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    I don’t wanna be that guy…but shouldn’t it be “Are”?

    In any case, they should have a man-baby. It would rule the world.

    1. J. Money February 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      Haha, oops. Now fixed – thanks :)

      1. George February 26, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        No problemo, love the blog, easiest way to pay ya back!

  2. Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle February 26, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Jimmy Buffet, Warren Buffett or the guy who owns the local Mandarin Buffet. I would love to be remembered in the wills of any of them.

  3. Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce February 26, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    That was quite the random post, J. And yes, Buffet looking very much like Larry David right now. Hilarious!

  4. William Cowie February 26, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Hey! Remove your spy equipment from my home immediately! I was just talking to someone over the weekend about whether the two Buffetts are related. Thanks for answering a long-slumbering question. :)

    Interesting the difference, though: Warren keeps his fortune, but Jimmy is easy come easy go with them. Amazing talent for building a merchandising business off his music, Jimmy.

    Thanks for making my day!

    1. J. Money February 26, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      Awesome! Now you’ll be filled with the appropriate knowledge at all cocktail parties ;)

  5. John S @ Frugal Rules February 26, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Yes, he does indeed look quite a bit like Larry David after a quick glance. Warren always likes to joke that he and Jimmy are “distant” cousins but, like you said, they really are not. I could be wrong, but I believe that Warren is an investor in Jimmy’s restaurant chain though.

  6. Brian February 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Another reason to be like Jimmy… he gets a piece of everything from his concerts, including alcohol sales. Most artists are lucky to get anything outside of their t-shirts sales. His ability to brand himself is amazing… who would have thought a song about a “frozen concoction” would turn into an apparel/casino/restaurant/lifestyle empire!

    Fun Fact… I was in the audience and can pick myself out in the music video for “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”

    1. J. Money February 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      WHAT??? REALLY??? I want to be you!!!!!

  7. Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank February 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    A cheeseburger hey? Interesting choice, i’m not sure Mr W.Buffett would be eating cheeseburgers with the amount of money he is making.

  8. Renae February 26, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    How funny that Jimmy Buffet is such a hot topic lately! Just the other day I was reading about how he is a gazillionaire from his restaurants and food lines. I had no idea!

    1. J. Money February 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      It’s def. crazy cuz I don’t believe he’s had any big hits in the past 20+ years or so, haha…

  9. Jim February 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Thank goodness *someone* got to the bottom of this! Seriously though I am (like you) big fans of both Buffetts – and even if not related – I’ll still try to invest like one and party like the other… and hope I don’t get it backwards. :)

    1. J. Money February 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      HAH!!! That would be something, wouldn’t it?

  10. Melinda Gonzalez February 26, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    I know nothing about either … makes me feel young.

  11. Edward Antrobus February 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Go back far enough, and we are all related, right? It’s funny that when two people have the same uncommon last name, you always assume they are related even though it can be just a coincidence. There is a Sir Edward Antrobus out there in South Africa, but aside from the name, the only thing we have in common is ancestry from the village of Antrobus in England.

    1. J. Money February 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Nice! There are plenty of J. Money’s out there, and 99.9% of them are rappers ;)

  12. Jose February 26, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    One makes money making music, the other just makes money. I would think that’s about all they have in common. I think if you go back 10,000 years you’ll find we’re all related to each other in some minor way!

  13. debtgirl February 26, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Hmmm… something I never wondered about!

  14. stephanie February 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    J this is so flipping random and I love it! Not something I’d ever even thought about, let alone thought I read about…I am definitely down with the cheeseburger (make mine garlic fries, thanks!) though; wouldn’t that be a cool chat?

    My personal belief? Mr Buffet, of the frozen concoction, ought to be named a saint! He may not have invented it, but he sure brought fame to the drink favored by so many. I know you’ve given it up for Lent, but your days are flying by and that yummy margarita might be the way to celebrate your days of sacrifice.

    On the other hand, being a beer snob myself, I’d stick with the beer. Whatever you choose, cheers to you!!!

    1. J. Money February 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      I like that idea! Margaritaville here I come once Easter hits! Woo!

  15. Jim March 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Interesting post, never even considered it but they share many similarities, most of all the uncanny ability to build wealth beyond belief! Thanks for the post!!

  16. Craig August 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    When I received my DNA testing results from 23andMe it turns out I am related as a distant cousin to both Jimmy on my mom’s side and to Warren on my dad’s side. Should I appear in a article with them as the genetic link between two unrelated Buffetts?

    1. J. Money August 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Haha… Well if you’re not being sarcastic, then totally – you need to be in future articles ;)

  17. Craig August 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    No – I’m not being sarcastic. I was quite surprised when I received my results.. Also I found that I am related to Leo Tolstoy from my dad’s side. I have 3 stars appearing on my profile from Jimmy, Warren, and Leo. You have my email address if you would like to contact me.

  18. Madeline January 31, 2021 at 10:32 PM

    Too funny (odd)
    I just read a sad comment about Warren Buffet and since I have a weird “connection” to Jimmy Buffet I wondered if they were related.
    That is how I arrived at this site.
    No worries (or hopes) about being in Jimmy’s will! If he remembers me at all, it will be as the agent who bruised his pride!


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