Arthur Blank is an American businessman and a co-founder of The Home Depot. Today he is known for his philanthropy and his ownership of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.
Arthur Blank was born to a Jewish family in Flushing, New York. Blank graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and went on to attend Babson College, where he graduated in three years in 1963 with a B.S. degree in business administration and accounting. He also received an honorary degree from Furman University, where the Falcons held training camp until 2005.
After graduating from Babson College, Blank was hired by Arthur Young and Company, where he was a senior accountant. He later joined the Daylin Corporation, where he rose to become president of Elliott's Drug Stores/Stripe Discount Stores, a division of Daylin. When Daylin decided to sell off that division, Blank moved to another division, Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers.
Bernard Marcus was CEO of Handy Dan and Blank was vice president of finance when both were fired in 1978 as part of an internal power struggle.
In 1978, Blank co-founded Home Depot with Marcus. New York investment banker Ken Langone assembled the initial group of investors. The store revolutionized the home improvement business with its warehouse concept and Blank and Marcus became billionaires as a result. Blank spent 19 years as the company's president before succeeding Marcus as CEO. Blank retired from the company in 2001 as co-chairman.
In February 2002, Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise. In September 2004, he bought the Arena Football League franchise, the Georgia Force. Blank has expressed serious interest in purchasing other Atlanta franchises.
Blank is currently the chairman, president and CEO of AMB Group, LLC, and chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation.
Blank is a signatory of The Giving Pledge committing himself to give away at least 50 percent of his wealth to charitable causes.
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