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Mike’s Story

Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City whose innovations in business, government, and philanthropy have made him a global leader on climate change, public health, education, and other critical issues facing America and the world.

Mike Bloomberg

Mike’s Story

Mike Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and three-term mayor of New York City whose innovations in business, government, and philanthropy have made him a global leader on climate change, public health, education, and other critical issues facing America and the world.

Born in Boston on February 14, 1942, Bloomberg grew up in a middle-class home in Medford, Massachusetts. His drive to succeed, love of work, and passion for service began at a young age. When he was 12 years old he became one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in history. To help pay his way through Johns Hopkins University, he worked in a parking lot and took out government loans. After college, he attended Harvard Business School and in 1966 was hired by a financial services firm, Salomon Brothers, for an entry-level job.

Mike Bloomberg
With his proud parents and sister looking on, Mike Bloomberg becomes an Eagle Scout in 1954 (Courtesy of the City of New York)

Bloomberg quickly rose through the ranks at Salomon, overseeing equity trading and sales before heading up the firm’s information systems. When Salomon was acquired in 1981, he was let go. It turned out to be a moment that would define the rest of his life. The next day, with the idea for a technology company that would bring greater transparency and fairness to the financial system, he launched a small startup in a one-room office. Today, Bloomberg LP is a global company that employs some 20,000 people in 120 countries.

Lifting New York City

In 2001, just weeks after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City. He and his team rallied New Yorkers and led the city’s resurgence, writing one of the great comeback stories in American history. He turned around a broken public school system by raising standards and making new investments in schools. He spurred economic growth and record levels of job creation by revitalizing old industrial areas, helping small businesses open and expand, and connecting New Yorkers to new skills and jobs. Thanks to policies he put in place, the city recovered from the global recession far faster and stronger than the country overall.

Mayor Bloomberg’s passion for public health led to ambitious new strategies that became national models, including a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, as well as at parks and beaches. Life expectancy grew by three years during his time in office. He also launched cutting-edge anti-poverty efforts, including the Young Men’s Initiative and the Center for Economic Opportunity, whose ground-breaking programs have been replicated across the country. As a result, New York City’s welfare rolls fell 25 percent, and New York was the only big city in the country not to experience an increase in poverty between 2000 and 2012.

Mayor Bloomberg also created innovative plans to fight climate change and promote sustainable development, which helped cut the city’s carbon footprint by 13 percent. He was a strong champion of the city’s cultural community, expanding support for artists and arts organizations and helping to bring more than 500 permanent public art commissions to all five boroughs.

Mayor Bloomberg also created innovative plans to fight climate change and promote sustainable development, which helped cut the city’s carbon footprint by 13 percent. 

Mayor Bloomberg also created innovative plans to fight climate change and promote sustainable development, which helped cut the city’s carbon footprint by 13 percent. 

Mayor Bloomberg’s passion for public health led to ambitious new strategies that became national models, including a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, as well as at parks and beaches. Life expectancy grew by three years during his time in office. He also launched cutting-edge anti-poverty efforts, including the Young Men’s Initiative and the Center for Economic Opportunity, whose ground-breaking programs have been replicated across the country. As a result, New York City’s welfare rolls fell 25 percent, and New York was the only big city in the country not to experience an increase in poverty between 2000 and 2012.

Mayor Bloomberg also created innovative plans to fight climate change and promote sustainable development, which helped cut the city’s carbon footprint by 13 percent. He was a strong champion of the city’s cultural community, expanding support for artists and arts organizations and helping to bring more than 500 permanent public art commissions to all five boroughs.

Mike Bloomberg is inaugurated as New York City's 108th Mayor on January 1, 2002
Mike Bloomberg is inaugurated as New York City’s 108th Mayor on January 1, 2002 (Courtesy of the City of New York)

A life of influence and impact

Upon leaving City Hall, Bloomberg returned to the company he founded while also devoting more time to philanthropy, which has been a top priority for him throughout his career. Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies employs a unique data-driven approach to global change that grows out of his experiences as an entrepreneur and mayor. Bloomberg has pledged to give away nearly all his money during his lifetime and has so far donated more than $9.5 billion to a wide variety of causes and organizations.

In addition to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ five areas of focus – public health, arts and culture, the environment, education, and government innovation – Bloomberg continues to support projects of great importance to him, including his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. He served as chairman of the board of trustees from 1996 to 2001, and the university’s School of Hygiene and Public Health is named the Bloomberg School of Public Health in recognition of his commitment and support. In 2018, he gave $1.8 billion to allow Johns Hopkins to permanently accept and enroll students without regard to their ability to pay – the largest gift in the history of American higher education.

Bloomberg has continued to be one of America’s most fearless and effective voices on urgent issues including climate change, gun violence, and public health. The gun safety group he helped found, Everytown for Gun Safety, now has more than six million supporters and is the largest coalition of Americans fighting for common-sense gun laws. His partnership with the Sierra Club has shut down more than half the nation’s coal-fired power plants and replaced many of them with clean energy, saving many lives and creating many new jobs.

Bloomberg served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, charged with galvanizing the efforts of local and regional governments, businesses, and civil society. He also served as the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, supporting the organization’s push to achieve UN goals of reducing premature NCD deaths by one-third by 2030 and halving the number of road deaths and injuries by 2020.

Mike gave $1.8 billion to his alma mater Johns Hopkins to forever guarantee need-blind admissions for all students.

 

Mike gave $1.8 billion to his alma mater Johns Hopkins to forever guarantee need-blind admissions for all students.

 

In addition to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ five areas of focus – public health, arts and culture, the environment, education, and government innovation – Bloomberg continues to support projects of great importance to him, including his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. He served as chairman of the board of trustees from 1996 to 2001, and the university’s School of Hygiene and Public Health is named the Bloomberg School of Public Health in recognition of his commitment and support. In 2018, he gave $1.8 billion to allow Johns Hopkins to permanently accept and enroll students without regard to their ability to pay – the largest gift in the history of American higher education.

Bloomberg has continued to be one of America’s most fearless and effective voices on urgent issues including climate change, gun violence, and public health. The gun safety group he helped found, Everytown for Gun Safety, now has more than six million supporters and is the largest coalition of Americans fighting for common-sense gun laws. His partnership with the Sierra Club has shut down more than half the nation’s coal-fired power plants and replaced many of them with clean energy, saving many lives and creating many new jobs.

Bloomberg has served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, charged with galvanizing the efforts of local and regional governments, businesses, and civil society. He also served as the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, supporting the organization’s push to achieve UN goals of reducing premature NCD deaths by one-third by 2030 and halving the number of road deaths and injuries by 2020.

Mike Bloomberg
Mike Bloomberg announces the potential impact of the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge while in Orlando, Florida in February 2019.

In 2020, Bloomberg ran for president to defeat Donald Trump, return integrity, honesty, and competence to the White House, and make progress on the greatest challenges facing America. His campaign followed on the heels of his efforts to flip 21 House seats from red to blue in the 2018 midterm elections and to give Democrats control of Virginia’s state government in 2019 for the first time in a generation. Although his presidential campaign came up short, he remains committed to defeating Trump by supporting the Democratic nominee and other Democrats down ballot and getting the country back on track.

Bloomberg is the father of two daughters, Emma and Georgina, and a grandfather to Zelda and Jasper.