Home Depot Co-Founder Reflects on Lesson He Learned from His Mother and How It Shaped His Entire Life

Home Depot co-founder Bernard “Bernie” Marcus is a man who knows a little something about hard work, a dream and a purpose.

Marcus learned about hard work at a young age.

He was the youngest child of Russian immigrant parents.

Like many immigrants, his parents came here looking for a better life, and for a way to fulfill their American dream.

When they came here, the family was, “poor as church mice,” and beginning at the tender age of 11, he was working to pay for his own clothes and contribute to the family in whatever other way he could, he told Fox News.

“It was not the easiest place in the world. But the truth of the matter is, we had each other,” Marcus said. “We survived… my mother said, ‘This is the golden lamp. You could do anything you want here. America is great.'”

His mother was a woman with a good heart who insisted on helping others even though the family had its own financial struggles.

When the end of the day came around, she had everyone in the family deposit any extra coins they had into a little box she kept.

She said the purpose of those coins would be, “to help those people that can’t take care of themselves.”

The struggles Marcus’ family endured and the influence of his mother cultivated a sensitive heart in him toward others.

During a time in his life in the 70s when he was working for a home improvement store and Home Depot was still a dream in progress, a co-worker confided in him that he had been diagnosed with cancer.

The co-worker said he only had six weeks to live, and that he was making a point of saying his goodbyes.

Marcus helped him get connected with an organization called City of Hope, which conducts clinical trials through the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

As a result, the co-worker received the care he needed and went on to live a long life.

“He was a human being. He had two children… It hit me viscerally how important this was, saving a life,” Marcus said. “I didn’t do it. They did it. But I was able to get him to the right place at the right time.”

Marcus began making donations to the organization and continued to do so for the next three decades.

This was the first of many organizations with which Marcus has gotten involved for the benefit of others, even as he continued to pursue his dream of building the Home Depot.

“Miracles never stop,” Marcus said, adding that, “I’m 93, and I’m not stopping… unless the good Lord strikes me down.”

CORRECTION, Nov. 8, 2022: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect reference to the Home Depot.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.