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30 Little Known Facts You Probably Never Knew About Bernard Marcus

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Bernard Marcus, the co-founder of The Home Depot Inc., an American home improvement supplies retailing company, is famously known for giving away more than $1 billion to various philanthropic causes including education, hospitals and Jewish causes, through his Marcus Foundation. Here are some really interesting things to know about the American billionaire:

  1.  He founded The Marcus Institute, a center with the sole focus on providing services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
  2.  He is known to have co-founded the Israel Democracy Institute, contributing over $5 million for the construction of the building in Jerusalem's Talbiya neighborhood, in the year 1991.
  3.  He is one of the contributors, known to have helped open the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, which is now the home to diverse marine life collection like Beluga Whales and Whale Sharks, in the year 2005.
  4.  He and his wife Billi donated $25 million to the construction of the $133 million MDA Marcus National Blood Services Centre in Israel.
  5.  He reportedly donated $25 million to Autism Speaks, in an effort to raise money for various researches on the causes and cure for autism. Marcus is also an active member of the board of directors.
  6.  He was honored with the prestigious William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, for his contributions to the philanthropic causes in the year 2012.
  7.  In the year 2006, he, after his retirement from the position as chairman of The Home Depot, was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.
  8.  Bernard Marcus was born on May 12, 1929, in Newark, New Jersey, to Joseph Marcus and Sara Marcus, both Russian Jewish immigrant parents.
  9.  He, along with his siblings - Irving Marcus, Seymour Marcus and Beatrice Marcus, grew up in a tenement and graduated from South Side High School in the year 1947.
  10.  He first aspired to become a doctor, but worked as a cabinet maker for his father, as he was not able to afford the tuition at Harvard Medical School.
  11.  He graduated with a pharmacy degree from the Rutgers University, where he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.
  12.  Following his graduation, he worked at a drugstore as a pharmacist, though he was more interested in the retailing side of the business, than his job of pharmacist.
  13.  He tried his hand at various other retail jobs, including his work at a cosmetics company, before reaching a position as CEO of Handy Dan Improvement Centers, which is a chain of home improvement stores, based in Los Angeles.
  14.  He and his Handy Dan Improvement Centers' co-worker Arthur Blank, were reportedly fired during a corporate power struggle in the company, in the year 1978.
  15.  The duo, along with the help of merchandising expert Pat Farrah and New York investment banker Ken Langone, co-founded The Home Depot, the home-improvement retailer, in the year 1979, after assembling a group of investors.
  16.  The new warehouse concept introduced by them in The Home Depot, is said to have revolutionized the home improvement business, making Blank, Marcus and Langone billionaires.
  17.  In the early days of his company - The Home Depot, it was reported that no one came into the store, and in an effort to lure customers, he and his colleague Blank sent their kids out into the streets to hand $1 bills to anyone willing to walk in.
  18.  He served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Home Depot for 19 years, since its founding in the year 1979, while retaining the position of Chairman of the board until his retirement in the year 2002.
  19.  He is known to have been opposing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the name for several legislative bills on US labor law, as he beliefs the legislation as hindrance to American capitalism, calling it "the demise of a civilization."
  20.  He has reportedly suggested that his clients send donations to groups and Senate Republicans also against the EFCA, and that any retailer who does not fight it "should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs."
  21.  He is also an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a left-wing protest movement in Zuccotti Park that began on September 17, 2011.
  22.  He donated around $1.5 million to Super PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, in the year 2015.
  23.  Marcus is the founder of the Job Creators Network, a conservative advocacy group that recruits small-business entrepreneurs and executives, with $500,000 in seed funding in January 2014.
  24.  The said network is known for being a spokespeople for free markets and connecting these entrepreneurs and executives to publicity opportunities, notably in advertisements, op-eds, and television appearances.
  25.  He was honored with the highest award - the Others Award, by the Salvation Army, in May 2005.
  26.  He and his wife, along with over hundreds of other billionaires, have signed The Giving Pledge, a campaign that encourages wealthy people to contribute their wealth to philanthropic causes.
  27.  For his $250M million donation to the Georgia Aquarium, he and his wife were listed among the top charitable donors in the country by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, in the year 2005.
  28.  Marcus is an active volunteer and director on the Board of Shepherd Center, with main focus in providing care for war veterans with traumatic brain injuries.
  29.  In the year 2009, he was named a Georgia Trustee, an award given by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, in recognition for his accomplishments and community service.
  30.  He has been married twice to Ruth and Billi. He has two children Frederick Marcus and Susanne Marcus Collins, with his first wife Ruth and a stepson Michael Morris with his second wife Billi.
  31.  Bernard Marcus Net Worth: $5.3 Billion

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