How far would you go to help one of your coworkers?
For Bernie Marcus, the co-founder and former CEO of Home Depot, the answer is: farther than most would ever imagine.
In the 1980s, Marcus had a personal accountant whose 4-year-old son had autism. What started as a simple desire to help her developed into a 30-year campaign to improve the resources available to kids with autism and their families. Today the Marcus Autism Center is one of the world’s leading institutions for autism research and treatment..
In this episode, you’ll hear about the incredible personal philosophy that drove Marcus to build the Marcus Autism Center and go so far as to commit more than $100 million of his own money to the cause. All told, Bernie and his wife Billi, through the Marcus Foundation, have donated more than $1 billion to address some of the nation’s most pressing health issues, including stem cell research, spinal cord issues and brain injuries.
But while he’s a man who’s donated richly, Marcus didn’t come from a background of wealth. In this show he also shares how he grew up poor in Newark, New Jersey and worked until his 50s before he reached his big breakthrough. He also offers insight into his personal ethical code—the one that made sure that, when he did find success, he was going to share it with others, especially the people who’d helped him succeed.