Atlanta, GA

The third richest person in Georgia

Luay Rahil
Photo Credit: Canva

When Arthur Blank met his friend, Bernie Marcus, at a coffee shop in Los Angeles, no one thought their simple business idea would make them billionaires.

Their idea was to create a superstore that offers a one-stop shopping warehouse for the do-it-yourself crowd. They called their store Home Depot, and it became one of the most dominant brands in the home improvement space in the world.

Today, Home Depot has more than 2,303 stores, making Arthur Blank the 124th richest man in the country and the 3rd richest person in Georgia, with a network exceeding $7.2 billion.

Who is Arthur Blank?

Arthur Blank is an American entrepreneur and a co-founder of Home Depot, and the current owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

Blank was born on September 27, 1942, to a Jewish family. He grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York. His father, Max, was a pharmacist who owned a small pharmaceutical company.

He still remembers his childhood vividly.

"I have fond memories of my father. My dad was a very kind person. You couldn't help but notice how everybody liked being with Max Blank. He was just an easy person to be around. And while he worked hard, he was always available to play ball or do whatever I asked." Arthur Blank

His father taught him to be customer-focused.

Arthur's father also taught him the importance of customer service and not to lose sight of the human aspect in business.

When his father died in 1957, when he was 44, his mother, Molly, only 37, took over Sherry Pharmaceutical to support her children. As a result, Arthur assumed more family responsibilities.

He went to a prestigious small college.

Blank graduated from Babson College with a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1963.

Babson College is an expensive private institution founded in 1919. To help his mother pay the tuition, he ran two businesses, landscaping and laundry.

After graduating, he worked for Arthur Young and Company as an accountant. He later started working for Daylin corporation and rose through the rank to become president of their Stripe Discount Stores division. However, when Daylin sold their discount stores, Bernie Marcus offered him a job at Handy Dan's division as corporate controller.

In 1978, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus were fired from Handy Dan due to power struggle and internal restructuring. They met at a coffee shop and decided to create one-stop shopping for the do-it-yourself crowd.

In 1981, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus took Home Depot public and expanded their stores to other states. By 1989, the company reached 100th stores. Ten years later, they expanded into Canada and Mexico.

Today, Home Depot employs 500,000 associates, and its revenue exceeds $132.1 billion.

He bought Atlanta Falcons, one of his best investments.

When Bernie Marcus retired in 1997, Blank became the CEO of the Home Depot and retired in 2001. After retirement, Arthur Blank bought Atlanta Falcons for $545 million, and the value of the team has risen to $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

In 2017, he brought professional soccer to Atlanta with his Major League Soccer team Atlanta United FC. The same year, he opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which cost $1.5 billion.

Blank has been married and divorced three times.

Arthur Blank has been married and divorced three times. He has six children and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2012, he committed to giving more than half of his wealth away by signing the Giving Pledge.

"Now, as I approach my 70th birthday, I am more committed than ever to making a difference through philanthropy. The needs in our society are more profound than at any point in my lifetime. The gap between rich and poor in America is growing. Philanthropy alone cannot repair all the social injustice in our country or the world. It can, however, inspire goodwill, spark innovation and provide thought leadership." Arthur Blank

He donates money to many politicians.

Arthur Blank also donated $35,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and $15,600 to Steve Bullock in his senatorial race. In 2016, he contributed to Hillary Clinton and various Democratic campaigns.

If Arthur Blank money had his money, what causes would you support?

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