Michael R. Bloomberg was the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He was first elected in November 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, a time when many believed that crime would return, businesses would flee, and New York might never recover. Instead, through hundreds of innovative new policies and initiatives, Mayor Bloomberg made New York City safer, stronger, and greener than ever.
During the Bloomberg administration, crime went down more than 30 percent. The welfare rolls went down 25 percent. High School graduation rates increased 42 percent. Ambulance response times are at record lows. Teen smoking fell by 50% from 2001 to 2011. More than 850 acres of new parkland have been added. And the City has weathered the national recession in much better shape than most places, far outpacing the nation in job growth.
Born on February 14, 1942 in Boston and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Massachusetts, Michael Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking loans and working as a parking lot attendant. After college, he went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1966, he was hired by a Wall Street firm, Salomon Brothers, for an entry-level job.
He 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 from the firm. With a vision of an information company that would use emerging technology to bring transparency and efficiency to the buyers and sellers of financial securities, he launched a small startup company called Bloomberg LP. Today, Bloomberg LP has over 300,000 subscribers to its financial news and information service in over 160 countries around the globe. Headquartered in New York City, the company has about 13,000 employees worldwide.
As his company grew, Michael Bloomberg started directing more of his attention to philanthropy, donating his time and resources to many different causes. He has sat on the boards of numerous charitable, cultural, and educational institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, where, as chairman of the board, he helped build the Bloomberg School of Public Health into one of the world’s leading institutions of public health research and training.
Already deeply involved in civic affairs, he officially entered public life in 2001, when he entered the race for Mayor of the City of New York. After entering City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg won control of New York City’s broken public school system and turned it around by raising standards, promoting innovation, and holding schools accountable for success. He spurred economic growth and job creation by revitalizing old industrial areas and strengthening key industries, including new media, film and television, bio-science, technology, and higher education. The Mayor’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan helped bring the City through the national recession as quickly as possible and helped avoid the level of job losses that many experts had forecast and that other cities experienced. He has also launched programs that encourage entrepreneurship, combat poverty, and help people acquire the skills they need to build careers.
His passion for public health has led to ambitious new health strategies that have become national models, including a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, as well as parks and beaches. Today, life expectancy is three years longer than it was before Mayor Bloomberg took office. His belief that America’s mayors and business leaders can help effect change in Washington has led him to launch national bi-partisan coalitions to combat illegal guns, reform immigration, and invest in infrastructure. He also created a far-reaching plan allowing New York City to fight climate change and promote sustainable development on an unprecedented scale. In acknowledgement of his leadership on these issues, Bloomberg was recently named Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. And he has been an equally strong champion of the City’s arts and cultural institutions, expanding support for them and helping to bring more than 80 public art projects to all five boroughs.