American Football Database
Arthur Blank
Arthur Blank
Born (1942-09-27) September 27, 1942 (age 79)
Sunnyside, New York
OccupationHome Depot co-founder, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United F.C. owner, businessman
Spouse(s)Stephanie Blank

Arthur M. Blank (born September 27, 1942) is an American businessman and a co-founder of The Home Depot.[1] Today he is known for his philanthropy and his ownership of the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League and Atlanta United F.C. in the Major League Soccer.[2]

Early life

Arthur Blank was born to a Jewish[3] 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[4] and went on to attend Babson College, where he graduated in 3 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.

Working life

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.

Sports ownership

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.[5] 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.

Current life

Blank is the Chairman, President, and CEO of AMB Group, LLC, and chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation.[6] 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 $1.3 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. He and ex-wife, Stephanie, resided in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, along with their three children. 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.


Blank is a signatory of The Giving Pledge committing himself to give away at least 50% of his wealth to charitable causes.[7]


External links

Business positions
Preceded by
Bernard Marcus
CEO of Home Depot
Succeeded by
Robert Nardelli
Preceded by
Taylor Smith
Atlanta Falcons principal owner
Succeeded by

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