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The Entrepreneur Factor

From home furnishings to sports, Arthur Blank has managed to come out on top. He has always been an achiever, especially during his younger years. Completing college in only three years, Blank graduated from Babson College with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. Later, he would translate his academic excellence to a successful career.

Blank’s time as an entrepreneur began in 1978, when he met future business partner Bernie Marcus at Handy Dan, a home center chain where they both worked as officers. But their careers at the chain store were cut short when corporate raider Sanford S. Sigoloff fired them. Frustrated and without jobs, the “do-it-yourself” best friends started their own store, using a system they had experimented with at Handy Dan.

Home Depot, a nationwide chain of warehouse stores, was opened in 1979. Blank and Bernie filled their stores with a variety of products sold at extremely low prices by trained associates. They believed their company had the perfect formula for success; however, during opening day, their spirits were crushed by a lack of sales. It was an overwhelming disappointment that lasted for several days, until a customer returned to their store to give a token of appreciation – an okra. Blank took it as a positive sign, and he was right to do so. Word-of-mouth advertising soon made the store a success.

As the co-founder, Blank is proud that Home Depot was able to improve the lives of others, create jobs for over 157,000 people, permeate the global community, and reinvest wealth in the community through philanthropy.

In addition to the home-improvement chain, Blank is also the owner of the Atlanta Falcons franchise in the National Football League. He is also chairman of the Arthur Blank Family Foundation.

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