September 27, 1942 |
Sunnyside, New York
|Occupation||Home Depot co-founder, Atlanta Falcons owner, businessman|
Arthur M. Blank (born September 27, 1942) is an American businessman and a co-founder of The Home Depot. Today he is known for his philanthropy and his ownership of the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League.
Arthur Blank was born to a Jewish family, in Flushing, New York, with his father, Max, his mother, Molly, and his older brother, Michael. Blank graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and went on to attend Babson College, where he graduated in three years in 1963 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and accounting. He also received an honorary degree from Furman University, where the Falcons held training camp until 2005.
After graduating from Babson College, Blank was hired by Arthur Young and Company, where he was a senior accountant. He later joined the Daylin Corporation, where he rose to become president of Elliott's Drug Stores/Stripe Discount Stores, a division of Daylin. When Daylin decided to sell off that division, Blank moved to another division, Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. Bernard Marcus was CEO of Handy Dan and Blank was vice president of finance when both were fired in 1978 as part of an internal power struggle.
In 1978, Blank co-founded Home Depot with Marcus. New York investment banker Ken Langone assembled the initial group of investors. The store revolutionized the home improvement business with its warehouse concept and Blank and Marcus became billionaires as a result. Blank spent 19 years as the company's president before succeeding Marcus as CEO. Blank retired from the company in 2001 as co-chairman.
In February 2002, Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise in the National Football League from owner Taylor Smith, the son of team founder Rankin M. Smith, Sr., who took over the team after the elder Smith's death. 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.
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, Blank re-entered serious talks with Time Warner and a report indicated that a sale was imminent. However, in February 2007, the Braves completed the sale of the team to Liberty Media. Blank has also spoke of purchasing an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer. Atlanta is currently being considered for MLS expansion.
Arthur Blank confirmed that an expansion agreement is in “the very final stages.”
Blank, the Home Depot co-founder, has been knocking on MLS’ door for around eight years. His unnamed team likely will take the field inside a new retractable-roof stadium in 2017. Speaking to WCNN radio, Blank claimed MLS is a “tremendous fit” for the city.”
The target date, as reported by Philly.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and confirmed by SI.com, is April 16. MLS expects to have a deal signed by then that will increase the number of teams to 22, not including the franchise that David Beckham will be awarded if and when he finalizes a stadium deal in Miami. Blank is expected to pay an expansion fee somewhere in between the $70 million charged to Orlando City and the $100 million spent by Manchester City and the New York Yankees on New York City FC. Both Orlando and NYCFC will begin play next year.
Blank told WCNN that the MLS board of governors already has approved the use of the $1 billion facility planned for a site just south of the Georgia Dome. The new stadium will be built with soccer in mind, with a wide field (albeit artificial turf) and a draping system that will create a second, temporary roof over the lower deck.
“They were very impressed with that,” Blank said.
Blank is the Chairman, President, and CEO of AMB Group, LLC, and chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Emory University and the boards of Staples and Cox Enterprises. He is divorced and has six children and three grandchildren. As of September 17, 2008, his net worth was estimated at $1.6 billion. In 2011, Blank was the recipient of the Freeing Voices, Changing Lives award from the American Institute for Stuttering. Blank was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2006, and in 2005 he was named National Entrepreneur Of The Year by Ernst & Young LLP. In 2003, for the second time in three years, Blank was named Georgia's Most Respected CEO by Georgia Trend magazine. On Sunday, February 3, 2013, Blank was served with divorce papers in Fulton County, GA from his estranged wife of 16 years, Stephanie. They have four children. Arthur is engaged to Angela Macuga. A strong believer in work-life balance, Blank still makes time daily for working out and spending time with his children. He also owns Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Emigrant, Montana; Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers; and PGA TOUR Superstores.
- "Our History". homedepot.com. The Home Depot. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- "ARTHUR BLANK - OWNER AND CEO". atlantafalcons.com. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- "Atlanta's new Jewish life - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
- "Arthur Blank - Owner and CEO - Biography". Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
- [dead link]
- "MLS expansion team in Atlanta would be successful, says NFL Falcons president". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- "AMB Group names key executives". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 20 June 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- Jewish Voice New York: "Jewish Billionaires Join Group Pledging Majority of Their Wealth to Charity" by Sholom Schreiber April 25, 2005
|CEO of Home Depot