Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank cofounded Home Depot in 1978 after being fired from their jobs at a regional hardware store. Bernie is a co-founder of Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer. The Atlanta-based company has more than 2,300 stores in North America and had revenue of $151.2 billion in the year to Jan. 30, 2022. Marcus co-founded the business with Arthur Blank in 1978 at age 50 and retired as chairman in 2002.
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- In 1981, Marcus, Blank and early investor Ken Langone took Home Depot public. All three men are now billionaires.
- Bernie, who signed the Giving Pledge with his wife in 2010, has given away over $1 billion to education, hospitals, and Jewish causes.
- Bernie Marcus was born to Russian immigrant parents, who sought the “golden land” in the U.S. and ended up in a fourth-floor walk-up tenement in N.J.
- Marcus helped to open the Georgia Aquarium in November 2005.
- Life-altering moments—Like Bernie’s refusal to pay a bribe to Harvard Medical School—changed the trajectory of his life. The son of a cabinetmaker and a garment worker who survived the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, Marcus overcame a hardscrabble upbringing. By age 15, he had held more than a dozen jobs, joined a gang, and worked as a comedian and hypnotist in the Catskills. After being fired at 49, Marcus teamed up with Arthur Blank and Ken Langone in 1978 to build a better home improvement store—and became one of the biggest successes in American history.
- Wife Billi – Best friend and love of his life. Been together for nearly 50 years.
- The core values of creativity, autonomy, and strategic impatience are crucial to their business success.
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