Arthur M. Blank (born September 27, 1942) is an American businessman and a co-founder of The Home Depot. He currently owns two professional sporting teams based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer.
Arthur Blank in 2016
|Education||Babson College (B.S.B.A.)|
|Occupation||Home Depot co-founder, Atlanta Falcons owner, Atlanta United owner, philanthropist|
|Net worth||US$5 billion (August 2019)|
|Spouse(s)||Diana Latow ( - 1993 div.)|
Stephanie Wray (1995 - 2014 div.)
Angela Macuga (2016 - 2019 div. )
* 2018 MLS Cup Champion
Arthur Blank was born to a Jewish family in Flushing, New York. His father, Max Blank, was a pharmacist and his mother, Molly Blank, was a mother of two sons, Arthur and his older brother Michael. Blank graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City.
After graduating from Babson College in 1963, 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 and merchandising expert Patrick Farrah helped founders realize their vision of one-stop shopping for the do-it-yourselfer. 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.
Today, Blank is the Chairman of AMB Group LLC, parent company of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. He is also chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Emory University.
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. In September 2004, he bought the Arena Football League franchise, the Georgia Force; he moved the team to the city of Atlanta after it had spent several years in suburban Gwinnett County.
Blank has expressed serious interest in purchasing other franchises. In early 2006, he temporarily withdrew from contention as a potential buyer of the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. 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 founded an expansion Major League Soccer franchise named Atlanta United FC that began play in 2017. The club shares Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the Falcons.
Blank has been married three times and divorced twice, with a third divorce pending. He has three children with his first wife, Diana Blank (born 1942): Kenny Blank, Dena Blank Kimball, and Danielle Blank Thomsen; they divorced in 1993. In 1995, he married Stephanie V. Blank (born 1968), a Blowing Rock, North Carolina native and Appalachian State University graduate he met when she worked as a designer at a Home Depot store in Atlanta. They had three children - Joshua Blank, Max Blank, and Kylie Blank - before being divorced. In June 2016, Blank married to Angela Macuga (born 1968), who has three children from a previous marriage. They announced their pending divorce on January 1, 2019.
Blank owns Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and West Creek Ranch in Emigrant, Montana as well as several PGA TOUR Superstores. He is a signatory of The Giving Pledge committing himself to give away at least 50% of his wealth to charitable causes.
Awards and honorsEdit
- 2018 MLS Cup champion (as owner of Atlanta United)
- 2016 NFL NFC Champion (as owner of the Atlanta Falcons)
- 2011 Freeing Voices, Changing Lives award from the American Institute for Stuttering
- Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame (class of 2006)
- 2005 National Entrepreneur Of The Year (Ernst & Young LLP)
- Two-time Georgia Tend magazine Most Respected CEO in Georgia (2001, 2003)
- 2014 Georgia Trustee
- "Our History". homedepot.com. The Home Depot. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
- "ARTHUR BLANK - OWNER AND CEO". atlantafalcons.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
- "Arthur Blank - Owner and CEO - Biography". Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "The Incredible List of Successful Babson College Alumni (Part 1: Undergraduates)". VentureFizz. June 15, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- "AMB Group names key executives". Atlanta Business Chronicle. June 20, 2001. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
- http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/0421bravessale.html. Retrieved April 21, 2006. Missing or empty
- Reference for Business: "Arthur Blank" retrieved October 18, 2014
- National Parks Conservation Association: "The Visionaries - Diana J. Blank" retrieved October 18, 2014
- Atlanta Business Journals: "A longtime anonymous donor reveals her identity" by Maria Saporta September 18, 2015
- Point's North magazine: "Stephanie Blank" Archived October 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine May 2010
- Daily Mail: "Billionaire owner of Atlanta Falcons is served with divorce papers as he watches 2013 Super Bowl minus his NFL team" February 3, 2013
- Saporta Report: "Arthur Blank says purchasing soccer team for Atlanta is ‘close to his heart’" April 17, 2014
- Kenly News: "DWIGHT PARRISH" Archived October 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine July 2014 Obituaries
- Ledbetter, D. Orlando (January 1, 2019). "Arthur Blank, wife Angela are getting a divorce". Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- Jewish Voice New York: "Jewish Billionaires Join Group Pledging Majority of Their Wealth to Charity" by Sholom Schreiber April 25, 2005
- The Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Blank announces he is ‘cancer free’" by D. Orlando Ledbetter March 17, 2016