Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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

#195 Bernie Marcus $7.43B

Random fact: Received a degree in pharmacy studies from Rutgers University.


Marcus is co-founder of Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer. He co-founded the business with Arthur Blank in 1978 at age 50 and retired as chairman in 2002. His stake is no longer disclosed and he's credited with 3.6 percent of the company, which had $88.5 billion of revenue in the year to Jan. 31, 2016.

As of May 22, 2017:
Last change +$19.6M (+0.3%)
YTD change +$1.02B (+15.9%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset HD US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 87
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Bernie Marcus's net worth of $7.43B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Marcus's fortune derives from Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement speciality 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 hasn't been required to disclose his Home Depot holdings after retirement because they fell below beneficial reporting requirements and he hasn't disclosed his holdings since then, Marcus's spokeswoman Donna Fleishman confirmed in a May 2016 phone call.

His stake is calculated to be 3.6 percent based on that 2002 figure and an analysis of the annual tax returns of four charitable foundations Marcus and his wife, Billi, founded. These returns list Marcus's annual gifts of cash and non-cash assets. Non-cash gifts are asserted to be Home Depot stock and the number of shares is derived from the average trading price for the period indicated in the returns.

The value of Marcus's cash investments is calculated from Home Depot dividends paid since its 1981 initial public offering, disclosed and estimated stock sales and purchases, plus salary and bonuses disclosed in SEC and charitable foundation filings between 1992 and 2002, the period for which he was obligated to report the information. Cash gifts and applicable taxes are included, and the figure is adjusted with market performance.

Marcus declined to comment on his net worth, Fleischman said.


Birthdate: 5/1929
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1954, Bachelor's Degree, 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 marrriage, Suzanne and Frederick, and an adult stepson through his marriage to Billi, Michael Morris.

  • 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.