Atlanta philanthropist Bernard Marcus, who went from building a home materials business to building giant fish tanks, has given £53 million to Piedmont Healthcare, an Atlanta, GA-based community hospital.
Marcus is an Atlanta native currently worth approximately £2.6 billion, accumulated largely from his investment in Home Depot, which he co-founded with fellow billionaire Arthur Blank in 1978. Marcus retired from the company in 2001 to focus on philanthropic efforts.
The donation, made via his foundation (The Marcus Foundation), appears to be the second largest donation ever made to a community hospital in the United States. The funds aim to help Piedmont Healthcare launch a long-term expansion of its cardiac services with a new building.
The centre will offer new spaces for heart-related procedures and hospital stays and expand the hospital’s resources to lead cardiovascular research studies.
Marcus said in a statement: ‘we are happy to participate with Piedmont in this exciting endeavour that will bring the best of cardiac care to the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. The new facility will enable Piedmont to achieve goals that would have only remained dreams at the present location.’
This donation comes after a £14 million pledge in 2012 to establish the Marcus Heart Valve Centre at Piedmont.
Growing up in Newark, NJ, Marcus developed an interest in studying medicine and was accepted into Harvard Medical School. Unfortunately he couldn’t go further because he was unable to afford tuition. After he founded his company and made his millions from Home Depot, he turned his focus back to supporting healthcare professionals in his adopted home state of Georgia through giving away his wealth.
In addition to being a benefactor at Piedmont, the self-made billionaire has already given away more than £700 million through his foundation whose work centres on healthcare and early childhood medicine. He has also donated millions to Duke University for its research on stem cells and their use to treat brain disorders. Marcus has also established and funded the Marcus Autism Centre, one of the largest in the States.
Besides funding healthcare initiatives, Marcus has been contributing large sums to conservative politicians this election season, primarily GOP candidates and their super PACs.
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