Home Depot Co-founder Keynote for Convocation
When: Monday, November 17, 2008 at 6:15 p.m.
Kenneth Langone, founder and chairman of Invemed Associates and co-founder of The Home Depot, will be the guest speaker at the Stillman School of Business Integrity and Professionalism Convocation.
Where: Main Lounge, University Center
"In all the time I've known him I've never seen him compromise his principles or integrity once. . . .”
- Humble Beginnings:
Kenneth Langone, billionaire investment banker and co-founder of The Home Depot, grew up in a working-class household. Son of a plumber and a cafeteria worker, Langone graduated from Bucknell University in three and half years with a B.A. Following graduation, he worked in finance while taking night courses at New York University to obtain his M.B.A.
Langone then worked on Wall Street. He bought a seat in the New York Stock Exchange for $60,000; he later sold it for $1.5 billion.
- From Handy Dan to The Home Depot:
In 1968, Langone began his journey as an entrepreneur by advising Texas businessman Ross Perot. Together, they took Perot's Electronic Data Systems public at 118 times the earnings of the company.
Langone founded Invemed Associates, an investment banking firm. His sights then turned to a small home improvement business known as Handy Dan. Through Langone's ingenuity and that of his co-founder, Home Depot was formed -- currently employing more than 300,000 people. Langone has been a director and member of the executive committee of its board since it was founded in 1978.
Langone also oversees Home Depot's “Ken's Kids” program, which helps disabled young people with education, employment and becoming financially independent. In addition, he serves on the boards of YUM Brands, Unifi, Inc. and Micell Technologies.
In 2005, Langone received considerable attention following his bid to purchase the New York Stock Exchange. Although the deal fell through, Langone attracted the interest of Wall Street for the boldness of the venture.
- Giving Back:
Langone has donated nearly $150 million to charity. In addition to his financial contributions, he also gives of his time. He serves on the board of the Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House, the Robin Hood Foundation, CSIS and the Harlem Children's Zone. He is also chairman of the Promise Academy, a charter school in New York City.
He has been awarded and honored many times for his generosity. Pope Benedict VXI knighted him for donating to Catholic causes.
Langone has also been a strong supporter of education. He and his wife have donated generously to Bucknell University, New York University, and to the New York University Medical School and Hospital, recently renamed the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Texas Businessman and Former Presidential Candidate
"Langone is a guy who can hit the curveball, and to a guy who can hit the curveball, it's easy."
Wharton School Associate Professor
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