Michael R. Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He was born on February 14, 1942 to middle class parents in Medford, Massachusetts, where his father was the bookkeeper at a local dairy. Mayor Bloomberg’s thirst for information and fascination with technology was evident at an early age, and led him to John Hopkins University, where he parked cars and took out loans to finance his education. After his college graduation, he gained an MBA from Harvard and in the summer of 1966, he was hired by Solomon Brothers to work on Wall Street.

He quickly advanced through the ranks, and became a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon’s stock trading sales and later, its information systems. He was fired in 1981 after another company acquired Salomon.

Michael Bloomberg used his stake from the Solomon sale to start his own company, an endeavor that would revolutionize the way that Wall Street does business. As a young trader, he had been amazed at the archaic nature in which information was stored. When he needed to see how a stock had been trading three weeks ago, he had to find a copy of the Wall Street Journal from the date in question, and the records system consisted of clerks penciling trades in oversize ledgers. So, he created a financial information computer that would collect and analyze different combinations of past and present securities data and deliver it immediately to the user.

In 1982, Bloomberg LP sold 20 subscriptions to its service; 20 years later, Bloomberg LP has over 165,000 subscribers worldwide. As the business proved its viability, the company branched out and in 1990 Bloomberg LP entered the media business, launching a news service, and then radio, television, Internet and publishing operations. Nearly 20 years after its founding, Bloomberg LP now employs more than 8,000 people—including 2,500 in New York City—in more than 100 offices worldwide. As the company enjoyed tremendous growth, he dedicated more of his time and energy to philanthropy and civic affairs. His desire to improve education, advance medical research and increase access to the arts, has provided the motivation for much of his philanthropy.

He funded relief programs for victims of domestic violence in New York City, sponsored the Children’s Health Fund’s Mobile Medical Unit which serves the children of homeless families, and supported construction of new athletic fields at city high schools throughout the five boroughs. He also served on the boards of 20 different civic, cultural, educational and medical institutions, including: the High School for Economics and Finance; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Police & Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund; S.L.E. (Lupus) Foundation and Prep for Prep.

The Mayor is currently serving out his term as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of John Hopkins University, which ends in May. Recently, he was honored by John Hopkins University, when its School of Hygiene and Public Health was renamed “The Bloomberg School of Public Health,” a tribute to his leadership and use of philanthropy to improve the human condition.

In 1997, Michael Bloomberg published his autobiography, Bloomberg by Bloomberg. All of the royalties from the sales of the book are donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Posted by A. Shapiro
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