Leonard Riggio is the chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), a Fortune 500 company, which is the world’s largest bookseller. In addition, he is the chairman and principal shareholder of several privately held companies, including Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, serving more than 500 college and universities across America. He is also the founder and largest shareholder of GameStop (NYSE: GME), a Fortune 500 company, which operates 5,000 video-game stores worldwide. In all, the enterprises in which he is involved employ almost 100,000 people.
Beginning with a single college bookstore in 1965, Mr. Riggio built one of the largest enterprises in the history of American retail. He is widely known as a visionary in the bookselling industry, and as a brilliant marketer and entrepreneur. Having realized his goal of making books and the world of ideas available to the general public, he continues to bring innovation to the marketplace in which he has spent his entire career.
Mr. Riggio devotes himself, as well, to many philanthropic initiatives, having served on nearly two dozen not-for-profit boards including the Children’s Defense Fund, the Black Children’s Community Crusade, and the Italian American Foundation.