Bernard Marcus

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Bernard "Bernie" Marcus (born May 12, 1929) is an American billionaire pharmacist, retail entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is one of the founders of Home Depot and was the company's first CEO. Marcus served as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 2002.

In 1991 Marcus co-founded the Israel Democracy Institute. Marcus contributed $5 million to the construction of the IDI's headquarters in Jerusalem and has continued to donate large sums to the IDI ever since. Most of the institute's annual budget comes from Marcus.[1]

Marcus is chairman of the Marcus Foundation whose foci have been described as "Jewish causes, children, medical research, free enterprise, and the community". [2] The Foundation is a major donor to the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces.

Marcus has been highly critical of the Occupy Wall Street movement, characterising Occupy protesters as "imbeciles". [3] Marcus is an opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act and in 2008 he commented that retailers who failed to support Republican candidates opposed to the act ought to be shot:

If a retailer has not gotten involved with this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to Norm Coleman and these other guys," Mr. Marcus said, apparently referring to Republican senators facing tough re-election fights, then those retailers "should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs. [4]

Marcus further described the act as "the demise of civilization" and pleaded for corporate donations in order to prevent the United States turning "into France".[5]

In 2010 Marcus was listed as Chair of the Host Committee for the 2010 Foundation for Defense of Democracies Washington Forum:

FDD's annual Washington Forum brings together diplomats, intelligence and military experts, policymakers, media and stakeholders for expert panels, debates, and discussions.

That year's forum was titled 'Countering the Iranian Threat'.[6]

Other figures on the committee, who like Marcus, have been closely involved with the FIDF include Larry J. Hochberg and Robert J. Shillman. [6]



  1. Shuki Sadeh, 'How foreign donors reshaped Israel: A who's who', Haaretz,17 March 2013, accessed 4 February 2015
  2. Israel Democracy Institute Website Bernard (Bernie) Marcus bio. Accessed 4 February 2015.
  3. Max Abelson, 'Bankers Join Billionaires to Debunk ‘Imbecile’ Attack on Top 1%', Bloomberg,20 December 2011, accessed 4 February 2015
  4. Huffington Post, 'Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"', Huffington Post, 20 December 2008, accessed 4 February 2015
  5. Sam Stein, 'Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill', Huffington Post, 27 February 2009, accessed 4 February 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 FDD Website Washington Forum 2010: Countering the Iranian Threat. Accessed 4 March 2015.