Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 441 Bernie Marcus $4.68B

Random fact: Donated $250 million to build Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium.

Overview

Marcus is a co-founder of Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer. The Atlanta-based company has more than 2,200 stores in North America and had revenue of $108.2 billion in the year to Feb. 3, 2019. Marcus co-founded the business with Arthur Blank in 1978 at age 50 and retired as chairman in 2002.

As of :
Last change +$25.0M ( +0.5%)
YTD change +$575M ( +14.0%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 90
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Bernie Marcus's net worth of $4.68B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Marcus's fortune derives from Home Depot, the company he co-founded in 1978. Home Depot has more than 2,200 stores in North America and is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, according to its website.

The billionaire held almost 60 million shares in the publicly traded company when he retired as chairman in May 2002, according to a proxy filing dated April of that year. Marcus wasn't required to disclose his holdings after his retirement because they were below beneficial reporting requirements and he's calculated here to have sold all of his shares in equal installments between 2002 and 2018.

The valuation was updated on Nov. 14, 2018 to remove Marcus's Home Depot shareholding because it couldn't be confirmed. Before this date, it was assumed that he still held about 70 percent of the shares he had in 2002. This change led to a decrease in the net wealth calculation of more than $4 billion.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of calculated share sales as well as known charitable donations, dividends, taxes and market performance. Marcus has received more than $400 million in dividends since 1987, according to Bloomberg's analysis.

A person familiar with the fortune who asked not to be named because the information is private said in November 2018 that it was worth about $4 billion.

Biography

Birthdate: 5/1/1929
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey

Marcus was born in 1929 in Newark, New Jersey. The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, he grew up poor in a tenement while his father worked as a cabinet maker, according to a 2012 Philanthropy magazine profile.

Marcus graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in pharmacy studies in 1954. After school, he briefly worked in pharmaceuticals before taking over the cosmetics department at New Jersey discount chain Two Guys. He added management of the sporting goods department, as well as household appliances, before leaving the company in 1968.

After a brief stint as president of manufacturing group Odell Corp., Marcus was named chairman of Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers, a California retailer. Marcus and fellow executive Arthur Blank were fired after corporate raider Sanford Sigloff took over the chain in 1978, according to an Oct. 10, 2008 profile in Entrepreneur Magazine.

The pair decided to borrow $2 million to establish two discount home improvement stores in Atlanta. They lost half their money in the business's first year, according to a 1993 Bloomberg profile. Despite early struggles, Home Depot found its niche in the market. The company expanded to Miami and went public in 1981. It became the world's largest home improvement retailer by 1990, according to its website.

Marcus served as Home Depot's CEO until 1997, and remained chairman until 2002, when he retired. He has pledged to give the majority of his wealth to charity, and donated $250 million to found the Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005.

The billionaire lives in Boca Raton. Florida, with his second wife, Billi. He has two children from his first marriage, Suzanne and Frederick, and an adult stepson through his marriage to Billi, Michael Morris.

Milestones
  • 1929 Marcus is born in Newark, New Jersey.
  • 1972 Becomes chairman of Handy Dan Improvement Centers.
  • 1978 Gets fired from Handy Dan.
  • 1979 Opens first Home Depot store, in Atlanta.
  • 1981 Initial public offering for Home Depot.
  • 1990 Home Depot becomes largest home improvement retailer.
  • 2005 Donates $200 million to build Georgia Aquarium.
  • 2010 Joins The Giving Pledge, committing to giving away at least half his wealth.