Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
A renowned entrepreneur as co-founder of The Home Depot, Arthur M. Blank is now recognized for his values-based Blank Family of Businesses and as one of America’s leading philanthropists. A native of Queens, N.Y. and a Babson College business school graduate, Blank’s philosophy of creating value for companies, customers and communities has led him to be distinguished by Forbes as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds and as one of America’s Top 50 Givers. He was Sports Business Journal’s Sports Executive of the Year in 2018.
Blank believes that a “good company” produces both profit and purpose towards a better world – an idea he developed with his friend Bernie Marcus when they started The Home Depot in 1978 and opened the first two stores in Atlanta. As game-changing business icons, their vision transformed America into a country of empowered do-it-yourselfers while building The Home Depot into the world’s largest home improvement retailer and one of the nation’s most profitable and socially responsible companies.
After leaving The Home Depot as its co-chairman in 2001, Blank began to build his current family of businesses: AMB Sports + Entertainment includes the National Football League Atlanta Falcons, Major League Soccer 2018 champion Atlanta United, America’s largest golf retailer PGA TOUR Superstore, and the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta United and Falcons and host of the 2019 Super Bowl; and AMB West in Montana includes the recently purchased Paradise Valley Ranch, the philanthropic West Creek Ranch, and Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Resorts in the American West.
While diverse in nature, all these industry-leading businesses operate on six core values developed by Blank that focus on serving people, treating Associates with respect, and supporting communities.
As an early signer of The Giving Pledge, Blank lives his “give back to others” core value by investing the majority of his wealth and time to help people – particularly children – live healthier, more productive lives. He meets this pledge primarily through The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Formed in 1995, the Foundation leverages the power of “connected philanthropy” to partner with difference makers and find lasting solutions to complex problems.
Leading synergistic philanthropy for all the socially responsible Blank Family of Businesses, the Foundation has thus far granted $600 million to help underserved people in the challenging arenas of youth development and education, green space growth and conservation, the arts, health and wellness, social justice and democracy, military and veteran support, and community transformation – to include Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhood.
Blank resides in Atlanta and is the father of six children and has six grandchildren. Consistent with his passion for family, work and community, his favorite T-shirt reads “There is no finish line.” Never settling for today’s best, his legacy of success eyes the next challenge to continue providing extraordinary experiences for customers, fans, guests and Associates while also serving those in need.