About This Episode

The co-founder of Home Depot chronicles his story of a young jewish boy who grew up poor in New Jersey tenements and went on to start a great American Company at the ripe young age of 50.  He shares that they were so broke when he and Arthur Blank started the company that they filled the shelves with empty boxes and paint cans – but that the company built their success because they valued their customers and employees over everything.

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About Our Guest

Bernard Marcus co-founded The Home Depot at the age of 50 and was the company’s first CEO and chairman until retiring in 2002.  Born in 1929; Marcus was born to Jewish Russian immigrant parents, who sought the “golden land” in the U.S. – he grew up in a fourth-floor walk-up tenement in N.J.

Initially, Marcus wanted to be a doctor but couldn’t afford Harvard Medical School, so he instead studied pharmaceuticals at Rutgers in his native N.J.  Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank cofounded Home Depot in 1978 after being fired from their jobs at a regional hardware store. In 1981, Marcus, Blank and early investor Ken Langone took Home Depot public. All three men are now billionaires. Marcus, who signed Warren Buffet’s The Giving Pledge with his wife in 2010, has given away over $1 billion to education, hospitals, and Jewish causes.

Bernie Marcus and Travis Mills

Mr. Marcus was involved as one of the many supporters of Gary Sinise Foundation’s RISE program when they built Travis’ smart home years ago.  Travis Mills Foundation is a program within the GSF’s Avalon Network and delivers the Warrior PATHH curriculum.

Learn more about Bernie Marcus on sites like Bloomberg and Forbes.