Published on March 26 2014
Bernard Marcus Net Worth: $3.7 Billion
Bernard Marcus is an American retail entrepreneur, pharmacists and philanthropist. He was the co-founder of Home Depot, a highly successful home improvement retailer. He co-founded the establishment alongside Arthur Blank, who was his colleague at Handy Dan Improvement Centers. Marcus was the first Chief Executive Officer of Home Depot, a position he held for 19 years. He also served as the Chairman of the Board until 2002.
Marcus was born in 1930 in Newark, New Jersey to a Jewish-Russian immigrant parents. Even though he aspired to be a doctor, he wasn’t in a position to pay for his tuition. This left him with no other choice but to work as a cabinet maker for his father. The money he earned was enough to take him through Rutgers University, where he managed to earn a pharmacy degree. While at the university, he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.
In the year 1979, Marcus and Arthur established The Home Depot, with the help of Ken Langone, an investment banker who brought together a group of investors to start the enterprise. The store’s warehouse concept transformed the home improvement industry, and Marcus, Langone and Blank became so wealthy such that they acquired the billionaire status. In 2006, Marcus became an inductee of the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
In 2001, Marcus made a decision to retire and focus more on philanthropy. He has been an active philanthropist ever since and has contributed millions of dollars towards various causes. He pledged a $250 million donation through the Marcus Foundation to open Georgia Aquarium, which is considered to be one of the world’s largest aquariums. The aquarium holds at least 10 million gallons of water. Marcus also made a donation of $42.5 million to a disease investigate center known as The City of Home. The funds were intended to fund brain tumor testing and lymphoma treatment. In the year 2008, Marcus established the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. The 84-year old self-made billionaire is married with three children.