William Hertzog Thompson

William H. Thompson (1895-1981) was a writer, psychologist, professor, Presbyterian minister, and the father-in-law of Warren Buffett.

William Hertzog Thompson was born in 1895 in Greeley, Colorado to Lorin Andrew Thompson a newspaper editor and postal inspector, and Annie Hertzog Thompson, a mother of four sons and active church member. In 1903 the family moved to Omaha, Nebraska where Thompson eventually graduated from the University of Omaha (later part of the University of Nebraska) in 1917 and he received his masters from the University of Nebraska in 1925 in educational psychology. Thompson worked as a Presbyterian minister and a high school school teacher and coach at various schools in Iowa and Nebraska. Thompson married Dorothy Long who was a teacher at the Iowa School for the Deaf where her father was the long time principal. In 1930 Thompson received a Ph.D. in psychology from Ohio State University, where his uncle, William Oxley Thompson had been president, and then Thompson went on to teach and serve as a dean at the University of Nebraska and University of Omaha until he retired in 1960. Thompson's second daughter, Susan Buffett, married Warren Buffett in 1952.[1]

William Thompson was one of the earliest investors in Buffett's partnerships. Thompson died in 1981, and[2] Thompson's daughter, Susan Buffett and her family donated the "William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community" at the University of Nebraska (Omaha) in his honor.[3]

Notable Works by Thompson

  • "An Experiment with the Dalton Plan" (1933)[4]
  • "An Analysis of Errors in Written Composition By Deaf Children" (1936)[5]
  • The Fool Has Said God is Dead (1966)
  • Songs of Nebraska (1977)


  1. Gloria Kurtz Sinnett, The psychological viewpoints of William Hertzog Thompson and his contributions. University of Nebraska at Omaha, Masters Thesis (1960) https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/studentwork/67/ pg 5-12
  2. Alice Schroeder, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (2009)
  3. https://www.unl.edu/wht/home
  4. An Experiment with the Dalton Plan - jstor https://www.jstor.org/stable/27525677 by WH Thompson - 1933
  5. An Analysis of Errors in Written Composition By Deaf Children - jstor www.jstor.org/stable/44391403 by WH Thompson - 1936
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