David Green (entrepreneur)

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David Green
Born (1941-11-13) November 13, 1941 (age 81)[1]
Known forFounder of Hobby Lobby
Children3 including Mart Green

David Green (born November 13, 1941)[1] is an American businessman and the founder of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores. He is a major financial supporter of Evangelical organizations in the United States and funded the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.


In 1970, while a store manager with variety store chain TG&Y, Green took a $600 loan and started a home business in his garage assembling and selling miniature picture frames, with a partner, Larry Pico.[1] The business, Greco Products, capitalized on a decorating fad of the time. Eventually, Green bought out Pico and the growing business staffed a small factory with cerebral palsy patients, paying them ten cents per frame.[1] By August 1972, the focus was on arts and crafts, and the business had thrived to such an extent that Green and his wife were able to open a 300 square-foot store in northwest Oklahoma City called Hobby Lobby. In 1975, Green left his 13-year career with TG&Y and opened a second Hobby Lobby location with 6,000 square feet of space.[2][3]

In 2017, Green and co-author Bill High published Giving It All Away...And Getting It All Back Again, which discusses Green's belief that tithing secures God's protection and highlights God's focus on future generation, an aspect of prosperity theology.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Green grew up in Altus, Oklahoma where his father was a Christian pastor with a congregation of 35.[6] All five of his siblings are pastors or pastors' wives.[7] He asserts that he has built his business on biblical principles.[1] Green is very supportive of Christian organizations, and is one of the largest individual donors to Evangelical causes in the United States.[7] Green commits half of Hobby Lobby's total pretax earnings to a portfolio of evangelical ministries, and as of 2012, he had donated an estimated $500 million.[8] Green has taken a public stance against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because of its inclusion of a provision mandating that companies include the "morning-after pill" in their health coverage.[9] He sued the federal government in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., overturning the mandate to provide that medication.

Green lives in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife, Barbara. Hobby Lobby is owned by them and their three children.[10] The eldest son, Mart Green, is the founder and CEO of the Mardel Christian & Education book store and Every Tribe Entertainment. Steve Green is president of Hobby Lobby, as well as founder and primary funder of the Museum of the Bible, and patron of the Green Collection. Daughter Darsee Lett is Creative Director for the Hobby Lobby stores.[11]

Museum of the Bible[edit]

Green funded the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. at the cost of $500 million.[12] In 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that they had returned 3,800 ancient artifacts found in the Hobby Lobby warehouse to the Republic of Iraq. In 2020, an additional 11,500 artifacts were returned to Egypt and Iraq.[13] Also a large number of papyrus fragments purported to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls were revealed to be forgeries.[14]

In July 2020, Forbes magazine reported the museum had received between $2 million and $5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program to retain 249 jobs (a calculated annual average salary between $38,000 and $97,000). In a statement to the magazine, a museum spokesperson said that the “Museum of the Bible applied for and received a PPP loan to pay our employees while the museum had to stay closed, taking in no other revenue."[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Davis, Kirby Lee (April 30, 2010). "Executive Session: David Green, founder of Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby". Journal Record. ProQuest 251018011. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Hobby Lobby Corporate history. Hobbylobby.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Hobby Lobby's history". The Oklahoman. October 23, 2003. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "Giving it all away...and getting it all back again : the way of living generously". WorldCat.org. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  5. ^ Moss, Candida R.; Baden, Joel S. (2017). Bible nation: the United States of Hobby Lobby. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0-691-17735-9. OCLC 974676035.
  6. ^ Smith, Scott S. (May 22, 2017). "Hobby Lobby's David Green Goes By 'The Book,' Not Conventional Wisdom". Investor's Business Daily. ProQuest 1901000301 – via General ProQuest.
  7. ^ a b Solomon, Brian (October 8, 2012). "Meet David Green: Hobby Lobby's Biblical Billionaire". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Solomon, Brian (September 18, 2012). "Meet David Green: Hobby Lobby's Biblical Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  9. ^ Flahardy, Cathleen (September 13, 2012). "Hobby Lobby sues not to cover morning-after pill". Inside Counsel: Breaking News. ProQuest 1039378048. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  10. ^ "Hobby Lobby fights health-care mandate, contraception coverage". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. December 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  11. ^ "Believers in the Business World: The Green Family". Everyday Christian. May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  12. ^ Connor, Tracy; Arkin, Daniel (July 6, 2017). "Spotlight on Hobby Lobby's Biblical Collection After Smuggle Case". NBC News. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Mashburg, Tom (April 6, 2020). "Holy Texts That Didn't Hold Up". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Mashberg, Tom (April 5, 2020). "Bible Museum, Admitting Mistakes, Tries to Convert Its Critics". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "Kanye West, West Virginia's Governor Jim Justice and 16 Other Billionaires' Businesses Got PPP Loans". Forbes.

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