Bernie Marcus has recently made a bold promise to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a recent interview – he plans to give between 80% and 90% of his personal wealth to charity. In the interview, he says he wants to live until he is 100 (Marcus is 90 now) so he can be in a position to give to things he believes in.
How Much is Bernie Marcus Worth?
As of late 2018 there were over 2,250 Home Depot stores. The company itself is the fifth-largest private employer in the world, and while they have received criticism for poor working conditions and giving bonuses in the form of store gift cards, you can’t deny that they are everywhere.
According to a Forbes estimate, Marcus is worth about $5.8 billion when you consider his ownership of Home Depot as well as his personal investments. Bloomberg has a more conservative $4.53 billion estimation, but no matter which is true, Marcus is a very wealthy guy that could do a lot of good with that cash.
When asked dint eh interview just how much he was worth, Marcus scoffed. He replied with the concept that it wasn’t what he was worth, but how much of it he could give away.
The Giving Pledge
Bernie Marcus is one of the many members of the Giving Pledge, which is a campaign founded by Warren Buffett, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, to get the extremely wealthy to donate their money to charity, instead of passing it along to their children.
Over 200 names have signed the giving place since it formed in 2010, and the list is mostly billionaires. If all donate as promised, a staggering $500 billion is estimated to go to charity. There is no legal obligation with this, though – just a promise.
Other big names with The Giving Pledge include Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, MacKenzie Bezos (Now-ex wife of Amazon CEO), Elon Musk, Brian Chesky (Billionaire CEO of Airbnb), Barron Hilton, and more.
What Has Marcus Donated So Far?
It is safe to say that Marcus has already started on his goal. The man himself estimates he has given over $2 billion to charity over his lifetime. That money spans over 300 different charities that support a wide variety of causes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution puts his probable donations much higher, at closer to $6 billion than $2.
He has chosen charities to contribute to that directly changes lives. Marcus and his wife recently donated $250 million to build the Georgia Aquarium, and an unknown amount (But in the millions) to the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. The Marcus Foundation has been left with a list of acceptable charities to donate his wealth to when he passes.
This includes creating up to 25 centers around the US to aid veterans suffering from PTSD and combat-related brain injuries, as well as treatment and research for children with autism.
Marcus retired in 2002, and his focus since then has been helping others and giving. He isn’t concerned about the economy, or Amazon, hurting his company. Home Depot generates over $100 billion in annual sales, less than half of the online giant, but he says that they aren’t going to “run away” with his business. He believes Home Depot is here to stay.