Ken Langone: From plumber's son to Home Depot co-founder

In the year 2020, Homes Depot was ranked at 26th position among the list of Fortune 500. On the other hand, Ken Langone stood at 154th position in the list of Forbes 400 in the year 2020 and stands at 608 among the top Billionaires list of Forbes in 2021.

Kenneth Gerard Langone is an American billionaire businessman who is known for organising financing for the founders of The Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the United States which provides tools, construction products and other services. Ken Langone made an early investment in Home Depot in 1978 and became a cofounder with Arthur Blank and Bernard Marcus.

In the year 2020, Homes Depot was ranked at 26th position among the list of Fortune 500. On the other hand, Ken Langone stood at 154th position in the list of Forbes 400 in the year 2020 and stands at 608 among the top Billionaires list of Forbes in 2021.

Ken Langone was born on September 16, 1935, to an Italian-American couple. His parents were working-class citizens. None of them went to high school. His father used to work as a plumber and his mother used to cook food in the school's cafeteria.

Also Read | Savitri Jindal : Meet the richest Indian woman

Ken learned the value of a dollar as a result of growing up in a paycheck-to-paycheck household. He began working odd jobs as soon as he was old enough to help support his family. As a young boy, his first employment was as a newspaper hawker. He did a variety of tasks in order to support his family's financial conditions. He worked in construction, dug ditches for the expressway and did many other such jobs.

Hard Work became the way of life for the family, but this young boy knew that there were bigger and better things in his life ahead.

Ken started his first white-collar job in the early 1960s, working for a Wall Street financial services firm. He was a huge success and swiftly rose through the business ranks. Ken was a favourite of Ross Perot's. Ken was put in charge of the IPO for Perot's company, Electronic Data Systems, in 1968.

Also Read | Kenny Troutt : The son of bartender who became self-made billionaire

Ken founded Invemed, a venture capital firm, in 1974 because he wanted to work for himself. This decision would set it on a path to success as a do-it-yourselfer.

In 1978, a breakfast table opened business cuisine for Ken. Ken had breakfast with Bernie Marcus and this gathering, though, was about much more than eggs and bacon. Bernie had recently been laid off from Handy Dan, a home improvement retailer, and he wanted to vent to Ken about how terribly upper-level executives had treated him.

Ken and Bernie began brainstorming a warehouse-sized store stuffed with discounted goods with the help of a third co-founder, Arthur Blank. It would be a store where the average shopper could get everything they needed to make their house a home. Ken was able to gather enough money to start the business, and the first two Home Depot stores debuted in 1979. Home Depot went public three years later at a price of $12 a share.

Ken Langone has always believed in charity as a faithful Roman Catholic. He is not hesitant to open his wallet for humanitarian organisations while living a very austere lifestyle.

Ken and his wife Elaine Langone gave an unlimited $100 million to NYU Medical Center in 1999. In 2008, he made a matching gift. In honour of the couple's substantial gifts, the university renamed it the NYU Elaine A. and Kenneth G. Langone Medical Center the following year.

Ken retains a particular place in his heart as a graduate of NYU and a former instructor. He has been a trustee since 1997 and was elected chairman of the medical centre's board of directors in 1999. He's been in debt to the $300 loan since he took it out to finish school. He's been a long-time supporter of NYU.

Apart from this, Ken has also been a Republican for a long time and is a major contributor to the party. That isn't to say he always supports Republican candidates. He casts his vote based on how well a candidate's beliefs fit with his own. In 2014, he endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo for re-election as Governor of New York.

Ken Lagone's tale demonstrates that in a capitalist society, anyone can succeed. You don't need any particular connections or to have grown up with a silver spoon in your mouth. You may live the capitalist dream and help others reach their goals if you have the correct motivation, perspective, and ideas.

tags