Arthur M. Blank was born on 27 September, 1942, in Sunnyside, New York, USA. Arthur Blank is an American businessman and a co-founder of Home Depot. Today he is known for his philanthropy and his ownership of the Atlanta Falcons team in the National Football League and the Georgia Force team in the Arena Football League.
Arthur Blank grew up in Flushing, New York, with his father, Max, his mother, Molly, and his older brother, Michael. Arthur Blank graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and went on to attend Babson College, where he graduated in 3 years in 1963 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. In 2009, Arthur Blank was awarded by prestigious Georgia Speaker of the Year by Emory’s Barkley Forum Debate Society.
After graduating from college, Arthur Blank was hired by Handy Dan Hardware, and worked his way up through the company to become a regional manager. Arthur Blank was fired in 1978 for a disagreement with executives.
In 1978, Arthur Blank co-founded Home Depot with Bernie Marcus, another former Handy Dan manager. New York investment banker Ken Langone assembled the initial group of investors. The store revolutionized the home improvement business with its warehouse concept and Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus became billionaires as a result. Arthur Blank spent 19 years as the company’s chief financial officer before succeeding Bernie Marcus as CEO. Arthur Blank retired from the company in 2001 as co-chairman.
In February 2002, Arthur Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise in the National Football League from longtime owner Taylor Smith. In September 2004, he bought the Arena Football League franchise, the Georgia Force; he moved the team back to the city of Atlanta after it had spent several years in suburban Gwinnett County.
Arthur Blank has expressed serious interest in purchasing other Atlanta franchises. In early 2006, he temporarily withdrew from contention as a potential buyer of the Major League Baseball team Atlanta Braves. Some months later, Arthur Blank re-entered serious talks with Time Warner and a report indicated that a sale was imminent. However, in February 2007, the Atlanta Braves completed the sale of the team to Liberty Media. Arthur Blank has also spoke of purchasing an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer. Atlanta is currently being considered for MLS expansion.
Arthur Blank is the Chairman, President, and CEO of AMB Group, LLC, and the Arthur Blank Family Foundation. Arthur Blank serves on the Board of Trustees of Emory University. Arthur Blank is married with Stephanie and they have 6 children and 2 grandchildren. As of 17 September, 2008, his net worth was estimated at $1.3,000,000,000. Arthur Blank was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2006. Arthur Blank and his wife reside in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, along with their 3 youngest children. A strong believer in work-life balance, Arthur Blank still makes time daily for working out and spending time with family.
In 2009, Arthur Blank was named Georgia Speaker of the Year by the Barkley Forum debating society of Emory University.
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