Arthur M. Blank is a businessman and author from America. Along with Bernard Marcus, Ron Brill, Patrick Farrah, and Kenneth Langone, he established the American home improvement supplies retailing company, The Home Depot. A New York native, Blank graduated from Babson College and began his professional career at Arthur Young and Company. He later worked for the Daylin Corporation, where he became acquainted with Marcus. In 1978, they both were fired from Daylin following an internal power struggle. Within a year, they founded The Home Depot. Since then, the company has become the largest home improvement retailer in the United States of America. At present, Blank serves as the chairman of AMB Group LLC, the chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees of Emory University. Through AMB Group LLC, he is the majority owner of Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and the owner of the Atlanta United FC of the Major League Soccer (MLS), which he also founded.
After graduating from Babson College, Blank joined Arthur Young and Company as a senior accountant. Sometime later, he left his job at Arthur Young to accept a position in the Daylin Corporation. Talented and ambitious, Blank quickly ascended through the ranks to assume the position of the president of Elliott's Drug Stores/Stripe Discount Stores, a division of Daylin. When the company sold his division, he joined another division, Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers, where Bernard Marcus was the CEO at the time. Blank worked under him as the vice president of finance. In 1978, they were both sacked after they lost an internal power struggle.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
The Home Depot
In 1978, Arthur Blank and Marcus, with the help of merchandising expert Patrick Farrah, founded The Home Depot in Marietta, Georgia, U.S.A. Investment banker Kenneth Langone gathered the initial group of investors. Ron Brill was the company’s first employee. In the ensuing years, The Home Depot radically changed the home improvement business with their innovative warehouse idea. The incredible financial success of the company has turned both Blank and Marcus into billionaires. Blank was associated with The Home Depot for 19 years as its president. He became the CEO after Marcus stepped down. In 2001, Blank left the company as its co-chairman.
Investments in Sports Franchises
Arthur Blank bought the football team Atlanta Falcons from the previous owner Taylor Smith, the son of the franchise founder Rankin M. Smith Sr, in February 2002. In September 2004, he purchased Georgia Force of the Arena Football League and subsequently relocated the franchise to Atlanta from suburban Gwinnett County. In 2009, the league itself shut down operations and the Force, like other franchises, quickly followed suit.
Blank was interested in purchasing the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball but it did not happen. In 2014, he established the Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United FC, which became active in the league in 2017. He presently serves as the chairman of AMB Group LLC, through which he owns the Atlanta United FC and is the majority owner of the Atlanta Falcons. He also holds the post of the chairman at The Arthur Blank Family Foundation and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Emory University.
Arthur Blank co-wrote the non-fiction book ‘Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion’ with Marcus and writer Bob Andelman. It was published by Crown Business in 1999. In 2007, he published ‘Choices in Palliative Care’ through Springer-Verlag New York, LLC. Blank has also contributed to the sports book ‘Atlanta Falcons: 50 Seasons’, which was published by Skybox Press in 2016.
Family & Personal Life
Born on September 27, 1942, in Sunnyside, New York, USA, Arthur Blank is one of the two sons of Max and Molly Blank. His brother’s name is Michael. Working as a pharmacist, Max Blank supported his middle-class Jewish family. Arthur was a student of Stuyvesant High School in New York City before enrolling at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, from where he graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Blank married his first wife, philanthropist Diana Latow, in 1966. They have three children together: Kenny Blank, Dena Blank Kimball, and Danielle Blank Thomsen. In 1993, the couple parted ways. He became acquainted with his second wife, North Carolina native and Appalachian State University graduate, Stephanie Blank, when she was employed under him as a designer at a Home Depot store located in Atlanta. With her too, he has three children: Joshua Blank, Max Blank, and Kylie Blank. Blank and Stephanie were married from 1995 to 2013. In June 2016, Blank exchanged wedding vows with social activist and marketing executive Angela Macuga. On January 1, 2019, Blank and Macuga disclosed that they were getting a divorce.
On February 9, 2016, Blank announced that he had prostate cancer but added that it was treatable. On March 17, 2016, he revealed that the treatment had been successful and he was now cancer-free.