February 2, By Hannah Wulkan
The owner of the Atlanta Falcons who is taking his team to the 51st Superbowl on Sunday has deep ties to Sunnyside.
Arthur Blank, who also co-founded Home Depot, grew up in Sunnyside, before moving to Flushing when he was 12 years old. He often cites his modest beginnings, in which his family would scrape together pennies and nickels to donate to their local synagogue, as a foundation for his success in life, reported a recent Forward article.
Blank grew up in a small one-bedroom home in Sunnyside pinching pennies, before going on to found the multi-billion dollar Home Depot Company in 1978. He is now worth about $3 billion.
Upon retiring as president of Home Depot after 18 years in 2001, Blank bought the Falcons in 2002.
Now that the Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl for the first time under Blank’s ownership, and will face off against the New England Patriots in Houston on Sunday, Blank is paying for the more than 400 employees to attend the game.
“I don’t want our associates ever to feel it’s just a job —but that they feel deeply about people they’re serving. And care deeply. They’re giving back,” Blank told the Forward.