Kenneth G. Langone

Kenneth G. Langone
  • Kenneth G. Langone
    CSIS Trustee
  • Kenneth Langone is a financial backer and cofounder of Home Depot and has been on Home Depot’s Board of Directors since 1998. He is also the former director of the New York Stock Exchange and an active philanthropist. He attended Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he graduated in three and a half years with a B.A. in economics. After graduating, he worked in the investment department of Equitable Life Assurance Company, working full time while attending night classes four nights a week at the New York University (NYU) School of Business. He obtained his M.B.A. in 1960. Today, NYU sponsors a night school program called the “Langone Program” in the Leonard Stern School of Business with curriculum that includes Ken Langone’s business model. After completing his college education, he joined the military and completed two years of service in the U.S. Army. In 1961, Mr. Langone took an interest in Wall Street and became an associate at R.W. Pressprich & Co., soon becoming executive vice president there. His career in business caught the attention of the public when he joined Texas businessman Ross Perot and his start-up company, Electronic Data Systems (EDS). He took EDS public in 1968 and was promoted to president and COO of the company. In 1974, Mr. Langone founded Invemed Associates, Inc., a small Park Avenue investment bank founded to finance start-ups in the medical field. Also in 1974, he bought his first seat on the New York Stock Exchange. A year later, he made a substantial profit for a medical electronics company called Ivac, which he later took over and sold to Eli Lilly in 1977. This business deal resulted in Eli Lilly’s medical instruments division, which has grown into a multibillion dollar division. He has since become one of Eli Lilly’s largest shareholders. Mr. Langone then became interested in a home improvement business called Handy Dan. Before investing, he personally inspected every Handy Dan establishment. Through this venture, he established a business relationship and friendship with Handy Dan’s CEO, Bernard Marcus. Mr. Langone, Bernard Marcus, and Arthur Blank went on to found their own home improvement store, Home Depot. The first Home Depot opened in Atlanta in 1978. Since cofounding Home Depot, he has created the textile firm Unifi, Inc., as well as Patlex Corporation. He continues to participate heavily in philanthropy, donating to charities, especially in education, medicine, and organizations dedicated to servicing the disadvantaged. In addition to serving as chairman of NYU Langone Medical Center, he has also served on a number of boards, including NYU Medical School, AutoFinance Group, Database Technologies, ChoicePoint, INC, and NYU Stern School of Business.

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