Benjamin Graham (May 9, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was a British-born American investor, economist, and professor.
Graham is considered the "father of value investing," and his two books, Security Analysis (1934) with David Dodd, and The Intelligent Investor (1949) defined his investment philosophy, and especially what it means to be a value investor.
His ideals regarding investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safety, activist investing, and contrarian mindsets went on to be utilized by those influenced by him. Arguably, his most famous student was Warren Buffett, who as of January 2018, was the third wealthiest person in the world. According to Buffett, Graham used to say that he wished every day to do something foolish, something creative, and something generous. And Buffett noted, Graham excelled most at the last.
After graduating from Columbia University at age 20, he started his career on Wall Street, eventually founding the Graham-Newman Partnership. After hiring his former student and future manager of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, he took up teaching positions at his alma mater, and later at Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.
His work in managerial economics and investing has led to a modern wave of value investing within mutual funds, hedge funds, diversified holding companies, and other investment vehicles. Throughout his career, Graham had many notable disciples who went on to receive substantial success in the world of investment, including Buffett, who described him as the second most influential person in his life after his own father. Other such disciples were William J. Ruane, Bert Olden, Irving Kahn and Walter J. Schloss. In addition, Graham's thoughts on investing have influenced the likes of Seth Klarman and Bill Ackman.