Kenneth Langone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kenneth Langone
Kenneth Gerard Langone

(1935-09-16) September 16, 1935 (age 83)
ResidenceSands Point, New York.
NationalityUnited States
Alma materBucknell University (B.A.)
New York University Stern School of Business (M.B.A.)
Known forHelped arrange financing for the co-founders of The Home Depot
Net worthUS$ Increase 3.4 billion (February 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Elaine Langone
ChildrenKenneth Gerard Langone Jr.
Stephen Langone
Bruce Langone

Kenneth Gerard Langone Sr., KSG (Knight of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great) (born September 16, 1935) is an American billionaire businessman, investor, and philanthropist, best known for organizing financing for the founders of The Home Depot. He has an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion as of February 2018 according to Forbes.[2]

Early life[edit]

Kenneth Langone was born in Roslyn Heights, New York, to Italian American working-class parents. His father was a plumber and his mother a cafeteria worker. Langone's family has been described as having "a lot of love, but not a lot of money."[3] As a student at Bucknell University, Langone worked various jobs: a butcher's assistant, a caddie and a ditch digger. While at Bucknell, Langone became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduating in three and a half years, Langone headed back to New York, this time to Manhattan instead of Roslyn Heights. There he attended New York University Stern School of Business at night while working full-time during the day. That part-time evening program now bears his name, and is known as the "Langone Program" at NYU.

Business career[edit]

In the early 1960s, Langone began his career at a Wall Street financial services company named R.W. Pressprich, where he helped develop new business. In 1968 Langone met and persuaded Ross Perot to let Pressprich handle Electronic Data Systems's IPO. In 1969, Langone would be named Pressprich’s president.

In 1974, Langone left to form a new firm, named Invemed – a venture capital firm.[4] Langone began to study the home improvement business and eventually bought stock in Handy Dan, a home improvement chain. This led to a relationship with Handy Dan CEO Bernard Marcus and CFO Arthur Blank. Although a minority shareholder, Langone effectively protected Marcus from issues that arose between Marcus and Sanford Sigiloff, the CEO of The Daylin Corporation, Handy Dan's parent company. Marcus, however, felt that if Langone sold his interest in Handy Dan, it might actually improve his relationship with Sigiloff. Shortly after Langone sold his Handy Dan stock, both Marcus and Blank were fired. Langone organized financing for Marcus and Blank to found Home Depot. Now a national chain with over 400,000 employees, it is Langone's most notable business venture.

Other endeavors[edit]

Langone has attracted publicity with his attempted purchase of the New York Stock Exchange. Although the deal fell through, it raised Langone's stature on Wall Street and in the business community in general. He was a codefendant with Richard Grasso in the 2004 prosecution by Eliot Spitzer over a controversial package of $139.5m of benefits received by Grasso on leaving his post as chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to an estimated $10m annual pay.[5] The Exchange was operated as a non-profit enterprise, and so was subject to New York state laws governing remuneration within non-profit enterprises. Langone was, as a director of the Exchange and senior member of the remuneration committee, heavily involved in development of the pay package. On July 1, 2008, the New York State Court of Appeals dismissed the case. The majority opinion stated that, since the beginning of the case, the NYSE had become a subsidiary of a for-profit multinational corporation, and that pursuing the company in the matter was therefore "not in the public interest."

He was elected as director of Yum! Brands effective October 7, 1997, and is a member of the Audit Committee.

On July 8, 2010, Geeknet announced that Kenneth Langone was elected Chairman of its Board of Directors[6] and is now serving as CEO.

Langone served on the board of General Electric in 2001.

Langone tapped Robert Nardelli to become CEO of Home Depot after Jeffrey R. Immelt was chosen over both Nardelli and James McNerney to succeed Jack Welch as CEO of GE.

Langone also served on the board of Database Technologies, a position he filled at invitation of the company's founder Hank Asher.[7] Asher claims Langone was responsible for his ouster.

Langone was a cofounder and board member of ChoicePoint Inc.

The Wall Street Journal discussed a pitch made by Bernard Madoff to Langone just before Thanksgiving 2008. Langone told the newspaper that Madoff said he was raising $500 million to $1 billion for his new fund for exclusive clients.[8]

Langone is a member of Kappa Beta Phi.[9]

Langone was made "Lifetime Commissioner" of The Boca Raton Bowl, an annual collegiate football game in Boca Raton, FL. He is known to walk around the stands selling LEOs (Lox, Eggs, and Onions) during the game.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Elaine Langone have three children; Kenneth G. Jr., Stephen, and Bruce Langone.

He is a practicing Roman Catholic, and was made a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI.

He has expressed indifference to same-sex marriage, saying "If two boys, two girls want to get married, it doesn't bother me... it's none of my business."[11]

He lives in Sands Point, New York.


Langone has donated millions of dollars to various charities. His philanthropic focus has been universities, medical research and training, education, and helping children.[12]

Universities Langone has contributed towards include Bucknell University, and NYU. Bucknell University has benefited from his $11 million donation, which financed a new Athletics and Recreation Center. Additionally, he has donated $6.5 million to NYU's Stern School to endow the Kenneth G. Langone Part-time Evening MBA program. In 2008, Kenneth and Elaine Langone made an unrestricted $200 million gift—the largest in the Medical Center's history—and the NYU Medical Center was subsequently renamed the NYU Elaine A. and Kenneth G. Langone Medical Center. In 2018 he pledged another $100 million in funding towards a $450 million program to make tuition free for all medical students at the NYU School of Medicine[13]. Langone serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the NYU Langone Medical Center.[12][14]

Langone has contributed towards charities which fund medical research and treatment and provide education and services to the disadvantaged. These charities have included the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, The Children's Oncology Society (Ronald McDonald House), Tomorrow's Hope Foundation, Harlem Children's Zone, and the Robin Hood Foundation, where he serves as Director. Langone is also the Chairman of the Promise Academy, a charter school in New York City.

He serves on the boards of The Ronald McDonald House of NY, CSIS, The Medal of Honor Foundation, and the Harlem Children's Zone.[12][14][15][16]

Through Home Depot, Kenneth Langone started the charitable organization Ken's Kids, which provides job training and employment to youths aged 18–21 with disabilities in Philadelphia. Langone himself financially contributes to the charity.[12]

In Popular Media[edit]

Langone is portrayed by actor Ray Iannicelli in the 2017 HBO Films production The Wizard of Lies. In the film, Langone is depicted as one of the few people who see through the schemes of convicted Wall Street swindler Bernie Madoff. In a scene featuring Iannicelli and Robert DeNiro as Madoff, Langone forcefully rejects an offer to invest money into a new investment fund that later turns out to be fraudulent.


  1. ^ The World's Billionaires: Kenneth Langone February 2018
  2. ^ The World's Billionaires: Kenneth Langone February 2018
  3. ^ Clifford, Catherine (2018-05-22). "This multibillionaire still calls the cable company when he thinks his bill is too high". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "SEC questions NYSE chief's pay". BBC News. September 2, 2003.
  6. ^ Geeknet Elects Kenneth G. Langone Chairman of the Board of Directors,, July 8, 2010, loaded July 8, 2010
  7. ^ Database pioneer ready for new adventure, South Florida Business Journal, March 21, 2005, loaded April 2, 2007
  8. ^ Did Madoff act alone?
  9. ^ Roose, Kevin (2014). Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits. London, UK: John Murray (Publishers), An Hachette UK Company. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-47361-161-0.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c d Langone's Faces of Philanthropy profile. Faces of Philanthropy, accessed December 28, 2010.
  13. ^ . New York Times Retrieved 16 August 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ a b Langone's Business Week Executive Profile. Business Week, accessed December 28, 2010.
  15. ^ Board Members Archived December 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Tomorrow's Hope Foundation, accessed December 28, 2010
  16. ^ Board of Trustees. Harlem Children's Zone, accessed December 28, 2010.

External links[edit]