The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


2018 Annual Legacy Award Dinner to feature The Home Depot CEO Craig Menear as keynote speaker honoring Arthur M. Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner and co-founder of The Home Depot

DALLAS, TX (Oct. 12, 2018) The Cooper Institute will honor Arthur M. Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and co-founder of The Home Depot, at the 2018 Legacy Award Dinner to be held on Nov. 1 at The Belo Mansion in Dallas. The event will feature Craig Menear, the chairman, CEO and president of The Home Depot, as keynote speaker to pay special tribute to Blank.

Blank is most well-known as the co-founder of The Home Depot, which revolutionized the home improvement business with a warehouse concept designed as one-stop-shopping for the do-it-yourself customer.  He spent 19 years as the company’s president before becoming CEO and later retiring in 2001 as co-chairman. Today, he is the chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the chairman of AMB Group LLC, the parent company of the Atlanta Falcons and the Major League Soccer expansion team, Atlanta United. Both teams play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“Mr. Blank is passionate about healthy living and improving lives in Georgia,” said John Bare, Georgia SHAPE Council Co-Chair and Vice President. 
His efforts helped make FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute the statewide assessment for youth physical fitness through the Georgia SHAPE program. FitnessGram is the cornerstone of Georgia SHAPE and provides a benchmark measurement of fitness and overall health for students. It is also the most widely-used youth fitness assessment tool in the world and is recognized by the President’s Youth Fitness Council. Blank has been a member of the Board of Trustees for The Cooper Institute since 2003. He was inspired to take up running after reading the 1968 book “Aerobics” by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. Years later they met and he shared with Dr. Cooper how the book changed his life and his health.

“Arthur has been committed to personal health and fitness for decades, and his passion is having a remarkable impact on the health of children in Georgia,” said Dr. Cooper. “By ensuring that all students are more active and fit, we also improve a child’s academic success and build a stronger, healthier workforce for the future.” 

Craig Menear is the chairman, CEO and president of The Home Depot and will deliver the keynote address to honor Blank as his friend and mentor.

Additionally, Orville Rogers will be honored as this year’s Well.Hero. recipient. Rogers, a 100-year old WWII veteran bomber pilot, is mostly widely-known as one of the oldest and fastest runners in the world, breaking dozens of world records since the age of 90. 

The annual Legacy Award Dinner celebrates the critically important mission of The Cooper Institute – to improve life-long health and wellness through research and education – and honors the visionary leaders who have improved the lives and health of men, women and children across the country and around the world. Past Legacy Award recipients include Drayton McLane Jr., Roger Staubach, Lyda Hill, Ray L. Hunt, Peter O’Donnell Jr., and the late Fred Meyer.

This year’s event chairs are David D. Glass, owner of the Kansas City Royals and former CEO of Walmart, and Drayton McLane Jr., former owner of the Houston Astros and current chairman of McLane Group. Both men are longtime members of The Cooper Institute board of trustees. Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist and longtime media personality Scott Murray will serve as master of ceremonies.

The 2018 Legacy Award Dinner will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:00 p.m. at The Belo Mansion in Dallas.
For more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Amy Johnson, Chief Development Officer, at 214-543-6533 or
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Amber Freeland at or 972-341-3291.
Additional information is also available online at

Current event sponsors include: Kenneth and Millie Cooper; David and Ruth Glass; Drayton and Elizabeth McLane; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Roger and Marianne Staubach; Pricewaterhouse Cooper and Tom and Shelly Codd; Lyda Hill; Oncor; Gail and Steve Reinemund; The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.; AT&T; Troy Aikman; Charles Anderson and Tedd Mitchell, MD; Gallagher; The Richards Group; Orville C. Rogers; and Westwood Wealth Management and Meridith and Brian Casey.


The Cooper Institute® is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting life-long health and wellness worldwide through research and education. Founded in 1970 by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, The Cooper Institute translates the latest scientific findings into proactive solutions that improve population health. Key areas of focus are research, adult education, and youth programs. The Cooper Institute is home to the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, the world’s largest and longest running observational study on measured fitness, and FitnessGram®, the most widely used youth physical fitness assessment, education and reporting tool in the world. Through these initiatives, The Cooper Institute helps people lead better, longer lives now and Well. Into the Future. To learn more, visit