Michael Bloomberg is best known for being one of the longest running mayors that New York City has ever had, but he is also the 10th wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $70 billion as of 2021.
Bloomberg was a productive mayor for the city of New York, despite being considered controversial due to his political position.
Before he ever took office, Bloomberg spent his adult life on Wall Street for multiple decades.
Was Michael Bloomberg Born Rich?
No, Michael Bloomberg was not born into a rich family.
Instead, he grew up in a middle class family in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston in February of 1942.
While his mother stayed home with her children, his father was a bookkeeper for a local dairy company.
What helped set Bloomberg on his way to extreme wealth was his love of technology, which he would later use to earn a degree in engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
Bloomberg immediately went on to work towards his Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.
He then went straight from Harvard to begin his career on Wall Street in New York City.
During the late 1960s, Bloomberg began working for Salomon Brothers.
It would take him less than a decade before becoming a partner at the Wall Street firm.
Although things were going well at Salomon Brothers, Bloomberg was forced to sell his share of the company when the company was bought out in the 1980s.
Despite the unfortunate end that Bloomberg’s time with the firm came to, he was able to walk away with $10 million.
With this money, Michael Bloomberg started his own firm called Bloomberg LP.
For decades, Bloomberg would work at the company he had created before he began to set his eyes on the goal of becoming mayor in the early 2000s.
New York City was still cleaning up in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Bloomberg, like many other New Yorkers, was determined to make things right once again.
As the mayor of New York City, Bloomberg looked to improve education, the environment, and public health.
He was also responsible for rezoning the area where the Twin Towers once stood.
After his time as mayor, Michael Bloomberg made his philanthropic work his full-time commitment.
Starting Out On Wall Street
Fresh from earning his Master of Business Administration from one of the most exclusive universities in the country, Michael Bloomberg broke out onto the Wallet Street scene in 1966 after being hired at Salomon Brothers.
He worked a minimum of 72 hours each week in a high pressure environment, but the thrill of his work made Bloomberg go back for more each week.
Over the course of six years, Bloomberg climbed the ranks and was applauded for his dedication and constant hard work.
The peak of his success with the Salomon Brothers was earning the prestigious title of partner, which had allowed him to live a lavish life.
The title of partner didn’t come easy to Bloomberg.
He was often overlooked and older employees or employees with more influential friends would get the job.
During his time with the firm, many other firms attempted to hire him.
They would offer him higher pay, but his loyalty to Salomon Brothers was firm.
Bloomberg was with Salomon Brothers for 15 years before he was his business partner and popular economist John Gutfreund told him that his services were no longer needed.
It was a summer day, like any other workday on New York’s most influential street.
Bloomberg had come into work as he always had and sat working away in his office before Gutfreund called on him.
The company had been acquired by another Wall Street firm, and the new company no longer needed Bloomberg.
He was fired from the only full-time job he had ever known on August 1st of 1981.
Bloomberg was not only shocked, but he was also hurt by the company’s decision to let him go despite the countless hours he had put in with the company.
However, Bloomberg was able to walk away with $10 million from the company.
Founding Bloomberg LP
Now that he had seen what was required to run a firm, Michael Bloomberg was ready to start the journey of having his own Wall Street firm.
Bloomberg started Bloomberg LP with a few of his former colleagues from Salomon Brothers who had also been released from their duties.
In the beginning, Bloomberg LP was a 30-square-foot office on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
The first day that Bloomberg LP was in operation, they celebrated with a little champagne.
During the first part of his career with his own company, Bloomberg was working even harder than he was at Salomon Brothers.
He would put in 14 hours every day, six days a week.
Despite his hard work, Bloomberg began to worry about whether or not he had invested enough money into development.
He was extremely concerned about the chance that nobody would want to purchase the new type of computer terminal that would display and distribute financial information.
He had already invested $4 million into the company, but he was still running at a loss.
Rather than give up, Bloomberg and his team pressed on.
Michael Bloomberg claims that he wasn’t one for having a detailed plan when it came to business due to the way that the business world was fluctuating so greatly at the time.
Towards the end of the decade, Bloomberg’s multi-million investment began to prove its worth.
By the late 1980s, Bloomberg’s terminals could be seen all over Wall Street.
From Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg also started Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg PolarLake, Bloomberg Sports Analysis, Bloomberg Professional Services, and many other branches of the Bloomberg brand.
Most of Michael’s Bloomberg wealth comes from Bloomberg LP, which covers a vast array of technology-based markets.
Bloomberg never let his company become the same mess that Salomon Brothers was.
Becoming The Mayor Of New York City
Although Michael Bloomberg is now best known for being a member of the Democratic Party, his political stance was much more complicated when he first became the mayor of New York City.
Bloomberg campaigned as a member of the Republican Party when he first ran for election in 2001, but he backed both conservative and liberal measures.
After Bloomberg was sworn into office, one of the first things he did was to limit the places that New Yorkers were allowed to smoke in an effort to protect non-smoking citizens from secondhand smoke.
After Bloomberg signed a 2002 bill, smoking was banned in bars and restaurants, which would be expanded to include city parks, beaches, boardwalks, and pedestrian plazas in 2011.
His time as mayor wasn’t without its flaws.
Bloomberg made multiple controversial decisions as mayor that would later come back to haunt his reputation, such as his attempt to place an additional tax on sugary beverages, the uncalled-for surveillance of Muslim schools and mosques, and supporting stop-and-frisk incidents.
While Bloomberg’s policing policies have been seen as some of New York’s strictest, crime did decrease during his terms.
Bloomberg had promised to help with the homeless crisis in New York City, but that promise was never fulfilled, and the number of homeless people increased.
During his second term, Bloomberg asked the City Council for a third term so he could lead the city through the 2008 financial crisis.
Despite it going against the wishes of New York citizens, the City Council approved Bloomberg’s request 29 to 22.
Michael Bloomberg also led the charge on changing how the environment was treated in New York City by convincing the city to switch to cleaner alternative heating fuels and opening up more parks.
He also began grading schools based on their student’s performance as mayor.
Running For President In 2020
During the 2020 elections, Michael Bloomberg threw his hat in the race for the presidential election.
Despite serving as a Republican mayor, Bloomberg had decided that his political views as president aligned more with the Democratic Party.
Although his campaign only lasted 104 days, Bloomberg made American political history by spending more of his own money on his campaign than any other presidential candidate that had come before him.
The former mayor of New York City spent $1.2 billion in total for his campaign, despite not even making it past primaries.
During his candidacy, Bloomberg took part in two Democratic presidential primary debates.
Part of his campaign promises was to highlight and accept immigrants as citizens, claiming to be the grandson of immigrants himself.
He also had plans to expand Obamacare and Medicare because he believed every American should have access to affordable healthcare.
The second half of his healthcare plan was to increase air quality, cut down teen smoking, expand access to prenatal and postnatal care, increase screenings for breast and prostate cancer, and to reduce death and injuries while on the road.
As a climate activist, Bloomberg was going to dedicate some of his time as president towards environmental issues.
His plans included rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, making climate change the priority of U.S. foreign policy, and giving more support to the areas where climate change has caused the most damage.
Michael Bloomberg also wanted to make gun regulation a top priority for the country, claiming that the country needed a leader who would be tough on gun violence and apply more pressure to the National Rifle Association.
As president, he planned to create an effective background check system that would prevent people with criminal backgrounds from purchasing guns.
A Full-Time Philanthropist
Michael Bloomberg handles all of his giving through Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on topics such as education, the environment, public health, government innovation, and the arts.
Bloomberg Philanthropies hopes to provide better and longer lives for as many people as possible, which they do by studying analytics.
Michael Bloomberg gives most of the money he earns from Bloomberg LP to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The philanthropic organization operates in 941 different cities and 173 different countries around the world.
In the prior year alone, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $1.66 billion in their projects around the world.
Bloomberg has given $12.7 billion towards his philanthropic efforts over the course of his lifetime.
One of the organizations that Bloomberg Philanthropies supports is Arts Innovation and Management, which helps small and mid-size organizations start on the right foot by helping them with fundraising, planning for the long term, and board development.
Bloom Philanthropies is also looking to increase diversity among business owners by supporting The Women’s Opportunity Center in Rwanda, Women for Women International, Sustainable Growers, and CARE International.
Michael Bloomberg’s funding organization also has some of their own initiatives that they’ve been supporting.
Their current environmental goal is the Vibrant Oceans Initiative.
The initiative was first launched in 2014 in Chile, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Vibrant Oceans has since spread to the Bahamas, Australia, Peru, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Tanzania, and the United States.
They focus on areas where there are notable coral reefs, top fishing nations, and places where fish make up a large portion of the area’s food source.
Another one of Michael Bloomberg’s initiatives is the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
This global effort hopes to monitor tobacco use, protect the public from smoke, offer support services for those trying to quit their tobacco use, and warn about the dangers of smoking.
Being Knighted By Queen Elizabeth II
On April 5th of 2015, Michael Bloomberg was recognized as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Although Queen Elizabeth II did not physically appear at the investiture ceremony at the British Ambassador’s Residence, British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott presented the honorary knighthood insignia to Bloomberg on behalf of the Queen.
Bloomberg was given the prestigious title in appreciation of his contributions to the United States and United Kingdom relationship through his political, business, and philanthropic efforts.
When Bloomberg established the European headquarters of Bloomberg LP in London, he brought thousands of jobs to the city and gave $48.4 million towards philanthropic efforts across the United Kingdom.
When presenting Bloomberg with his new title and insignia, Sir Westmacott stated that Bloomberg played a major role in forging the modern transatlantic ties that hold the two countries together today.
Bloomberg was involved in diplomatic, economic, and culture meetings.
Sir Westmacott also stated how the British Empire appreciated Bloomberg’s career-long devotion to education, public health, environmental sustainability, and cross-cultural understanding.
In response, Bloomberg was quick to say how lucky he felt to have the opportunity to play such a crucial role in the world around him.
Not only did Bloomberg strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, but he also strengthened the United Kingdom’s relationship with New York.
Through their work, Michael Bloomberg and then-mayor of London Boris Johnson were able to confront economic and environmental issues that were plaguing London and New York City.
The duo also worked on supporting British arts and educational systems through philanthropic efforts.
Through Bloomberg’s time in London, he found a deep respect for the British people and was incredibly honored by the title he was being given by the Royal Family.
Writing Multiple Books
Michael Bloomberg has written multiple books that cover topics such as climate change, management styles, life advice, and even helped write a book about starting your own brewing company.
His most popular book is Bloomberg by Bloomberg, which was released in 1997.
There are two different versions of Bloomberg by Bloomberg, which include the original 1997 release and the 2019 version.
The 2019 release has been revised and expanded upon, but some critics believe that the 2019 release is worse than the 1997 release.
The biggest complaint that readers had with the 2019 release was that it felt like a presidential campaign ad.
Also, plenty of readers weren’t satisfied with the 1997 release of Bloomberg by Bloomberg as well, claiming that it felt like every other wealthy person’s autobiography.
The next book that Michael Bloomberg wrote was Do the Hard Things First (And Other Bloomberg Rules for Business and Politics).
In the 2012 book, Bloomberg gives advice on different management strategies for business and explains the life lessons that he had to learn as an entrepreneur and politician.
The book is mostly about his time as mayor of one of the busiest cities in the world and what it was like keeping up with demanding international clients, but Bloomberg claims that the advice he gives in this book can apply to any type of professional.
After teaming up with the director and chairman of the Sierra Club, Bloomberg released his third book, Climate of Hope.
The book takes an entrepreneurial look at why the leaders of companies should care about climate change and what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet as companies.
He recently wrote the foreword in Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery by Tom Potter and Steve Hindy.
What Lies Ahead For Bloomberg?
Michael Bloomberg may not have been born rich, but he made his fortune as the founder of Bloomberg LP.
Although his presidential run may not have been as successful as he had hoped, his countless hours of hard work have paid off.
Gone are the days of him working 72-hour workweeks on Wallet Street, allowing him to focus on how he plans to change the world around him.
Bloomberg is the 10th most wealthy person on the planet, despite him giving away most of the money he earns with his namesake company.