Arthur Blank is an American businessman who tends to be known for two things. One, he is the co-founder of Home Depot. Two, he is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL as well as the Atlanta United in the MLS.
1. Graduated From Babson College
Blank went to Babson College for his education. In short, Babson College is a private business school that specializes in preparing interested individuals to become entrepreneurs. The school is very selective about its students as well as its teachers, with the result that it enjoys an excellent reputation.
2. Became an Accountant
With that said, Arthur Blank didn’t start his own business upon graduating from Babson College. Instead, he became an accountant at Arthur Young and Co., which was an accounting firm that merged with Ernst & Whinney to create Ernst & Young in 1989. Both Arthur Young and Co. and Ernst & Whinney were major names in their chosen field, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Ernst & Young is counted as one of the Big Four accounting firms in the present time.
3. Worked For the Daylin Corporation
Later on, Blank went to the Daylin Corporation, where he oversaw both Elliott’s Drug Stores and Stripe Discount Stores. When Daylin Corporation sold his division, Blank was moved over to another division that was responsible for Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. There, he served as the vice president of finance to the CEO Bernard Marcus, which continued until both of them were fired in 1978 because they were on the losing side of an internal power struggle.
4. Co-Founder of Home Depot
As a result, Marcus and Blank became motivated to found their own home improvement retailer that would serve as a one-stop shop for home improvement DIYers called the Home Depot. The two received funding plus other forms of support from a wide range of individuals, but it was their leadership that enabled their creation to revolutionize their chosen line of business. Due to this, it was natural that both individuals would benefit from their massive success, as shown by how individuals are counted as billionaires.
5. Has Long Since Retired From Home Depot
With that said, while Blank made his name by co-founding Home Depot, he has long since retired from running the business. In short, he started out as the president of Home Depot while Marcus served as the CEO, which went on for close to two decades before he succeeded Marcus as the new CEO. After that, Blank went on to become the co-Chairman, though that lasted for no more than a short time before he stepped down. Something that freed him to pursue other opportunities in other sectors.
6. Bought the Atlanta Falcons Following His Retirement From Home Depot
Blank stepped down from his position as co-Chairman in 2001. Soon enough, he purchased the Atlanta Falcons in February of 2002 from Taylor Smith, who was the son of the man who had founded it. Blank has held on to said franchise ever since that time, with the result that it has seen a huge increase in value. For those who are curious, he bought it for $545 million, but it is now estimated to be worth more than $2 billion, which is a substantial increase to say the least.
7. Has an Interest in Other Sports Franchises As Well
With that said, the Atlanta Falcons are far from being the sole sports franchise that Blank has taken an interest in. For instance, he owns Atlanta United, which plays soccer in the same stadium where the Atlanta Falcons play football. On top of that, Blank made a serious effort to buy the Atlanta Braves of the MLB, with the result that there were claims that a sale was imminent. In the end, that never happened because the Atlanta Braves went to Liberty Media rather than to Blank.
8. In the Process of Getting Divorced
Currently, Blank is in the process of getting divorced from his third wife Angela Macula, who he met when the two were attending a soccer game in which their children were playing. As such, it is interesting to note that Blank has described Macula as the “poster child” of a “soccer mom,” though he made sure to emphasize that he meant it in the best way. In any case, the divorce seems to be amicable in nature, with the result that the whole matter hasn’t been reported much in the news compared to other cases involving other couples.
9. Has Signed the Giving Pledge
Besides his business interests, Blank is a philanthropist as well. In fact, it is important to note that he is one of the people who have signed the Giving Pledge, meaning that he has pledged to give at least 50 percent of his fortune to various charitable causes. Since the Giving Pledge has no restriction on what charities can and can’t benefit from those who have signed it, it will be interesting to see what causes Blank will take up in the times to come along with the causes that he has already taken up.
10. Is a Cancer Survivor
In February of 2016, Blank revealed that he had prostate cancer. However, his prostate cancer turned out to be treatable in nature. As a result, Blank was able to get surgery done for his condition, which was followed up by him announcing that he was cancer-free by March of 2016. Apparently, his recovery went so smoothly that he was able to resume his activities at the head of his business empire within a very short period of time, though that isn’t to say that he was cavalier about his health.