Michael Rubens Bloomberg - Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies
Early life and Career
Michael Bloomberg was born and raised in Boston. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He attended Harvard Business School where he graduated with an MBA in 1966. Bloomberg started his career on Wall Street and by 1973 was a general partner in Salomon Brothers investment bank. When the firm was bought out, Bloomberg was retrenched without a severance package though he owned around $10 million worth of equity in the firm. He set up his own company Innovative Market Systems which tapped into the need of the financial business community to have access to high-quality accurate business and financial information and news. With Merrill Lynch as the fledgling company’s first customer installing 22 of the aptly named Market Masters, the company was an instant success and was renamed Bloomberg L.P. in 1987.
Bloomberg L.P. currently has over 325,000 subscribers worldwide and is the owner of a radio network. Products like Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Message and Bloomberg Tradebook helped make the company a success. Bloomberg held the position of CEO of Bloomberg L.P. until his appointment as Mayor of New York City from 2002 until 2013. He is widely credited with revitalizing the public-school system in the city and creating a record number of jobs by revitalizing specific industrial areas. Some of the key focus areas during his tenure have been adopted on a national level. They include a ban on smoking in all indoor areas as well as at parks and beaches. His anti-poverty programs including the Center for Economic Opportunity and the Young Men’s Initiative have been successfully replicated across the United States. He was responsible for transforming the city’s $6 billion deficit into a $3 billion surplus by creating significant tax breaks for large companies for the “good of the whole community”. By 2015, Michael Bloomberg regularly makes the Forbes Billionaires List and by 2015 he was the 6th richest person in the United States. After his tenure as Mayor, Michael returned to Bloomberg L.P. but began dedicating himself to his philanthropic work.
Philanthropy and Sponsorship
Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on five key areas, all with the underlying motivator of driving significant and lasting change. Environmental issues, public health, education, government innovation and arts & culture. While the non-profit is committed to outcomes-based donations, they rely heavily on evidence-based data to help choose which areas to invest in. The organization has made contributions to several environmental campaigns including the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign as well as the Environmental Defense Fund. Public health initiatives include funding for research and is the largest funder for tobacco-control efforts worldwide, to the tune of nearly $1 billion. In 2016 Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $300 million for the establishment of the Bloomberg American health Institute. In 2015 alone, Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies had donated or pledged $510 million. To date he has donated over $1,8 billion to 850 charities and non-profit organizations.