b'BERNIE MARCUSPartners for Democracy Award HonoreeBernie Marcus spent the first third of his life with very little money; the second third of his life revamping and enhancing the retail industry and its people with the creation of The Home Depot; and the past thirty years saving and changing lives through The Marcus Foundation. Even though his family often did not have enough food, and his parents worked tirelessly to make ends meet, his mother taught the children the importance of tzedakah, an important Jewish value that has remained with Bernie his entire life. His mother taught him that there were Jewish people who needed their help, and as a young boy he made donations of his ice cream money to Tzedakah boxes. Bernie 6 yrs old April 1935Although he could not achieve his goal of becoming a doctor (the family could not afford $10,000 to give to cover the quota system then at Harvard Medical School for Jewish students), Bernie found a new interest in sales, retail, and marketing. Through the years, he climbed the corporate ladder in various positions and companies. In 1978, Marcus was fired for the first time. He had a vision of a new type of retailer, a huge warehouse that stocked anything and everything one needed for home improvementand at low prices, with knowledgeable associates caring for customers.Just over a year later, when he was 50 years old, he opened the first store, called The Home Depot. Bernies transformational vision forever changed the way consumers buy everything from hammers to paint, from cleaning products to appliances. The Home Depot was the prototype big box specialty retailer and a blueprint for bringing wide selection and value to consumers across a vast array of specialty categories.'