Bernard Marcus is an American businessman and philanthropist. He co-founded Home Depot and was the company’s first CEO; he served as Chairman of the Board until retiring in 2002.
Marcus has opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). He has also suggested that clients send donations to groups and Senate Republicans also against the EFCA. He views the legislation as hindrance to American capitalism, calling it “the demise of a civilization” and suggesting that any retailer who does not fight it “should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs.” Marcus has also been an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2015, Marcus donated $1.5 million to Super PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.
Marcus also funded and founded The Marcus Institute, a center of excellence for the provision of comprehensive services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. In May 2005, Marcus was awarded the Others Award by the Salvation Army its highest honor. Marcus donated $25 million to Autism Speaks to spearhead its efforts to raise money for research on the causes and cure for autism. He is an active member of the board of directors.
Marcus is currently chairman of the Marcus Foundation, whose focuses include children, medical research, free enterprise, Jewish causes and the community. Marcus is on the Board of Directors and an active volunteer for the Shepherd Center. His main focus is in providing care for war veterans with traumatic brain injuries. He was named a Georgia Trustee in 2009. In 2012, Marcus was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leader.
Married twice. Two children with his first wife, Fred and Suzanne; and a stepson, Michael, with his second wife, Billi.