A Fireside Chat with Ken Langone

Business Icon. Philanthropist. Co-Founder of The Home Depot.
Part of the University Distinguished Speaker Series

Relive the event with our video archive below!

Center for the Study of Free Enterprise

A Fireside Chat with Ken Langone

About the Event

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, along side the Division of Academic Affairs at Western Carolina University is excited to welcome Ken Langone, business icon, philanthropist, and co-founder of The Home Depot.

Langone will take the stage with Dr. Edward Lopez, Director of the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise for a Fireside Chat, part of the latest installment of the University Distinguished Speaker Series. The discussion will cover Langone’s experience in entrepreneurship, as well as stories and ideas, which he says, seeks to help people, especially people just getting their start, to embrace his positive message of hope, opportunity, and the system of economic freedom that enables countless success stories in America.


October 22, 2018 at 5 pm.


A.K. Hinds University Center on Western Carolina University’s Campus

The event was free and open to the public. 


About the Distinguished Speaker Series

Western Carolina University’s Distinguished Speaker Series is pairing national topics and high-profile speakers to engage students, campus, and our community.

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise and the Division of Academic Affairs, the Distinguished Speaker Series is designed bring unique perspectives from leaders in education, arts, music, politics and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from some of the most influential voices today and, students may also earn DegreePlus credit from most events in the Distinguished Lecture Series.

All speaker events are free and open to the public.

Clink the button below to see all University Distinguished Speaker Series events for the 2018-19 season.


About Mr. Langone

Growing up poor in WWII-era Roslyn Heights, New York, Ken Langone has gone onto major success as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and television commentator. His career in finance began as a salesman, matching business ideas with financiers. In 1974 he started his own investment firm, Invemed, and in 1979 Ken arranged financing for he and two business partners to co-found The Home Depot. By 1989 Home Depot was the nation’s largest home improvement store and today employs over 380,000 associates across 2,000 U.S. locations. With his wife Elaine, both devout Roman Catholics, Ken has made major philanthropic donations to universities, medical schools, hospitals, and children groups including Ronald McDonald House, Robin Hood Foundation, Promise Academy, and more. In 2018, NYU’s medical school announced it would pay full tuition for all of its medical students, funded by donations from the Langones and others. Ken is a constant presence on the financial news networks, including regular appearances on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg.