Quick Michael Bloomberg Childhood Facts
He was born on the Valentine’s Day of 1942 at Elizabeth's Hospital in the dissolved Municipality of Brighton which is adjacent Boston, Massachusetts. He was of Jewish ancestry, and his father, William Henry Bloomberg (1906-1963), worked as a bookkeeper in a dairy and as a part time real estate agent; while his mother, Charlotte Rubens Bloomberg, was a native of the City of New Jersey.
His family used to live in Allston, Massachusetts up until he was two years old. Afterwards, they lived in Brookline, Massachusetts for two years, and finally settled down in Medford, Boston. In this place, he studied, grew up, and matured, until he graduated from college. Noteworthy during his early years of studies was his being an Eagle Scout—the highest rank that could be attained in the program of Boy Scout—which requires earning 21 merit badges to qualify for the rank.
Bloomberg likewise was the President of Slide Rule Club of Medford High and these early leadership trainings foreshadowed what Michael Bloomberg would achieve in the near future. At an early age, Mr. William Bloomberg—his father—thought that “Michael was the most wonderful youth in the world and thought that everything Michael did would be okay,” according to Charlotte Rubens—Michael’s mother. His mother was a disciplinarian, while his father was the liberal type as recollected by Mrs. Rubens.
Michael’s childhood antics included a rare passion for snakes. He would usually rummage through the thickets surrounding their home and would surreptitiously bring upstairs his catch of snakes in knotted socks which would greatly terrify his sister, Ms. Tiven. Likewise, as a child, Bloomberg revealed his softer side by making himself always available to his retarded Aunt Ruth who lived in the nearby town with his grandfather.
Michael Bloomberg’s Educational Background
Bloomberg studied at Johns Hopkins University and while attending college, he affiliated himself with the Phi Kappa Psi, and he used to hang out with his fraternity brothers during his free time. Mr. Bloomberg later on would casually remark about those moments as times in which “they had good times.”
While studying at Johns Hopkins, he would sneak out to a job at the parking lot of the faculty club, pretending he was just hanging out (not to give the impression to other students that he was working until 2 to 3 am) and dutifully looking after the cars in exchange for a good dinner and $35 per week pay to sustain his studies. In 1964, he finally finished his degree in Electrical Engineering.
After two years, in 1966, he received his Master's Degree in Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
Becoming a Businessman
The year 1973 augurs well for Bloomberg. During this year, he was a general partner of Salomon Brothers, an Investment Bank in Wall Street. He headed the equity trading part of the company, and later on, focused on systems development. There, he got acquainted with the ins-and-outs of Wall Street Trading. Salomon Brothers later on merged with the Phibro Corporation and Bloomberg was consequently dropped from the rosters of the Investment Bank after losing in a battle of personalities and politics.
In his autobiography, Bloomberg referred to his archrival in the Salomon Brothers—Richard Rosenthal—in a biting manner by saying that Rosenthal was "Determined and armed with that great advantage which lack of knowledge gives one, Rosenthal was a winner." He received, however, a $10–million severance payment, and he meticulously invested this money in Innovative Market Systems, a multi-million information service company which he founded.
Knowing that the financial community of Wall Street was very much willing to pay for a quick delivery of high-quality information about different businesses, he made sure that he would cater to these basic needs of Wall Street Business Community. The year 1982 brought Merrill Lynch at the doorstep of his new company, and became its first customer.
Likewise, the company's 22 Market Master Terminals were first installed during this year, and the company got a $30 million investment from Merrill Lynch. In 1987, the company got Bloomberg L.P. as its new name. By 1990, Bloomberg L.P. had greatly progressed and improved and had installed more than 8000 Terminals.
The succeeding years of the Bloomberg L.P. saw the launching of subsidiary products such as Bloomberg Message, Bloomberg News, and Bloomberg Trade book. In the recent year of 2012, Bloomberg L.P. had more than 310,000 terminals around the world.
Bloomberg L.P. now is a leader in global business and in financial information which readily enables customers to make faster, smarter, and very informed business decisions. The progressive success of his company is a testament to the great business acumen of Bloomberg.
In the recent years, Bloomberg relinquished his position as the CEO of the company and pursued a different path in the realm of politics. Lex Fenwick took the helm of the company when Bloomberg forayed into politics.
From a Democrat to a Republican
When Rudy Giuliani became ineligible for reelection in 2001 due to the city’s statute which limits the terms of the City Mayor to two terms consecutively, Bloomberg decided to enter the New York City political arena. Bloomberg, a member of the Democratic Party, surprised everybody when he vied for the Mayoralty of New York under the banner of the Republican Party.
In the Republican preliminary voting of 2001, Bloomberg won over Herman Badillo, a former Congressman. Consequently Bloomberg became the Republican mayoralty candidate in New York City. Before the general election, Bloomberg received the blessing of Giuliani, and owing to the huge capital and spending advantage that Bloomberg had over the Democratic Candidate, Mark J. Green, add to that his better campaign management, themes, and slogan, he later won the election.
In this election, he basically spent around $73 million of his very own money during the campaign period outspending his counterpart by a ratio of five to one. However, just two weeks before the coming mayoralty election, Bloomberg trailed Green by a margin of 16% in the poll survey. But then the critical endorsement of Giuliani came, referring to Bloomberg as the right and proper choice for New York City.
In the succeeding election, Bloomberg defeated Green by a two-percent margin, 50% to 48%, and succeeded Giuliani as the new Mayor of New York City.
The election of Bloomberg as the new Mayor of New York City was unprecedented in the history of New York City, since it is the first time that New York City had been won consecutively by two Republican mayoralty candidates. In fact, in the previous presidential elections, New York Republican Presidential candidates had not won in New York since the time of Calvin Coolidge which dates back to 1924.
Michael Bloomberg becomes a Republican Mayor
Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the famous city of New York, and he assumed the office on the 1st of January, 2002 roughly five months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
In his first term as mayor, he really struggled and strived to win high public approval, bearing in mind that he had to work behind the shadows of the achievements of the famous ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani; and New York was just reeling from several critical problems: the World Trade Center’s terrorist attack was still fresh in the consciousness of New Yorkers; crime rate was up; education was deteriorating; immigration problems remained; the budget deficit is at $6 billion; and other pressing problems loomed in the background.
When Bloomberg assumed the office, he immediately set up the Counterterrorism Bureau which he readily tasked to work with the established NYPD intelligence division to collate information concerning terrorism which might pose possible and imminent threat to New York City and the world.
He also established the 311 telephone line that enables callers within the City to connect to the authorities to report trash problems, crimes, or any other problems. Bloomberg supported the USA Patriot Act which was signed into law in October 26 of 2001 and was designed to expand the powers of agencies that gather intelligence information about terrorism.
Likewise, he advocated the idea that the Homeland Security funds' distribution should be based on the percentage of risk which a place has, therefore, giving those places which are more prone to terrorist attacks the lion share of the funding.
Fiscal Achievement of Bloomberg
Bloomberg's fiscal achievement is clearly seen in the decrease and eventual wiping out of the fiscal deficit of New York City. When he assumed office, the standing budget deficit of the city was at a high of $6 billion deficit. Through his fiscal reforms and fiscal savvy, he turned this $6 billion deficit into a $3 billion budget surplus, though he was still severely criticized by PAC Club for Growth for increasing property taxes and spending despite creating the budget surplus.
In wiping out the budget deficit, he maintained that he acted as a fiscal conservative. Bloomberg doesn't like raising taxes but he believed that taxes have to be levied because someone has to pay for government services. Thus, as Mayor, he found it necessary to raise taxes specifically on real property to fund the different projects of New York City and to reduce the budget deficit.
He made this decision upon considering the fact that most international companies want to have their office centers in New York City, and therefore these international companies wouldn’t shy away from renting offices in New York City despite the raised taxes on real property. The fiscal policies of Bloomberg have proven to be effective in balancing the budget of New York City.
Second Term and Third Term as Mayor of New York City
In the general election of November, 2005, Bloomberg was re-elected as mayor via a 20% margin over his Democratic opponent, which is the widest margin ever registered by a Republican Mayor of New York City. The Democratic candidate, during this general election was the former president of Bronx Borough—Fernando Ferrer.
Thomas Ognibene tried to run against Bloomberg in the primary election of the Republican Party. However, Bloomberg campaigned vigorously to challenge the intention of Thomas Ognibene. For this reason, Ognibene only ran on the ticket of the Conservative Party. In turn, Ognibene bitterly accused Bloomberg of intentionally betraying the ideals of the Republican Party, which was also the sentiment echoed by many other Republicans.
In 2005 general election, Bloomberg not only received support from the Republican; he also got the endorsement of some prominent Democrats which virtually sealed his re-election bid. He was endorsed by Democrats such as former Democratic Governor Hugh Carey, Former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch, Peter Vallone—Former Democratic Council Speaker, Peter Vallone Jr.—a Councilman, Floyd Flake—former Democratic Congressman, and Marty Markowitz—Brooklyn Borough President.
During his second term, he introduced educational reforms, reductions of poverty measures, and strict gun control measures for which he, together with the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, founded the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. Moreover, Bloomberg, seeing the importance of a safe environment in the progress of a place, vigorously worked on reducing the crime rate in the city. In 2005, New York had registered the lowest crime rate among the largest cities of the United States.
In 2006, Mayor Bloomberg convened a Commission on Economic Opportunity which he readily directed to figure out innovative approaches to alleviate poverty in the City. As a staunch statistician, he made sure that the poverty issues in the City will be properly addressed during his second term in office.
Before the presidential election of 2008, there was a growing speculation that Bloomberg would seek to run for the presidency in 2008. Though he categorically denied that he would run for presidency in several occasions, the rumor persisted and it remained a continuous subject of media speculation in the succeeding months.
On the 27th of February, Bloomberg said that he had no intention of running for presidency in the coming election of 2008. He further added that he would instead endorse a candidate who would likely take a non-partisan and independent stance on the pressing issues faced by the country. On June 19 2007, Bloomberg parted ways with the Republican Party, after criticizing the prevalent political climate in the Capital of the United States—Washington D.C.
In January 2008, it was reported by CNN that a source so close to Bloomberg had said that the Mayor had permitted a research to be launched to find out his chances of winning the coming presidential election. It was added by the source that Bloomberg set the early March as his timetable for a possible decision-making on whether to run or not to run as president. Likewise, it was rumored that the business interests of Bloomberg has been placed in a "blind trust" in view of his possible running for presidency.
There were also speculations prior to 2008 presidential election that Bloomberg would run for the Vice Presidency position. This rumor was fueled by a series of meetings which Bloomberg had in the month of August 2007 along with Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, and later on with the incumbent President of the U.S. Barack Obama in the month of November.
Whenever Bloomberg had appointments with any presidential candidate, a fresh speculation would always surface, speculations that concerned his seeking a national position. On May 17, 2008, a breakfast with John McCain ignited the strong speculation that Bloomberg would be seeking the Vice Presidency position under John McCain. Yet Bloomberg would time and again deny the prospect that he would run for national office.
New York Post in its November 6, 2007 issue, expounded on the efforts by Republicans of New York to sway Bloomberg to run against Governor Eliot Spitzer, the incumbent Governor then. This was fueled by early reports that Bloomberg would handily defeat Spitzer if they come face-to-face in the coming gubernatorial election. However, this match-up fizzled out due to the untimely resignation of Spitzer in March 2008.
In a poll of March 20, 2008, it shows that Bloomberg easily topped the survey, insinuating victory should he match against the newly ascended David Paterson who replaced Spitzer and the former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the gubernatorial election of 2010. Bloomberg, however, categorically denied he had a plan to seek the gubernatorial seat.
In 2011, Mayor Bloomberg announced the building of a $2 billion graduate school at Cornell University to transform New York City into the premier technology capital of the world.
News about Running for Presidency
Every time national election year was nearing, since Bloomberg became Mayor of New York City, a lot of rumors would float around the prospect of Mr. Bloomberg joining the presidential race. Well, the fact is obvious that Mr. Bloomberg is one of the ablest and highly capable persons to join the presidential race.
For this reason, months before the 2012 national election, the media, as well as many other pundits, were always on the watch trying to snip some tidbits that may give away the intention of Mr. Bloomberg. For this reason, when Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg's top political strategist, resigned from his position as Bloomberg’s advisor and went back to Bloomberg L.P., the move was viewed by many as a preliminary alignment strategy of Bloomberg for a general presidential campaign.
The committee to Draft Bloomberg, likewise, in October, announced the re-launching of its effort to convince Bloomberg to engage in presidential campaign for the coming national election of 2012. However, Bloomberg once again denied his intention to run for Presidency and in a Meet the Press episode in December 2010, Bloomberg again categorically stated that he wasn't running for president. In the thick of the Presidential campaign of 2012, after the Hurricane Sandy onslaught, Bloomberg endorsed Barack Obama citing Obama's stand on Climate change.
Election of 2009
Since Bloomberg was ineligible to run for the mayoralty office for the third time in 2009 mayoralty election, Bloomberg asked the City Council to amend the existing statute on mayoralty term limit. His main argument was that he was in a better position to handle the financial crisis which befell the world in 2007-2008.
Likewise, he also maintained that it was a challenge which he wanted to take on. The City Council voted in favor of extending the term limit to three consecutive terms of the mayoralty of New York City with a vote of 29-22. After 2 days of hearings, Bloomberg readily signed the bill on the 3rd of November, establishing it as the new statute for the New York City mayoralty terms of office. This turnout of events subsequently generated controversy.
Sen. Eric Adams, together with Norman Siegel, the former Director of New York Civil Liberties and Executive Director of Civil Rights Coalition of New York, together with some local politicians joined in the fray of protests against the extension of term limits.
In the coming election, the opponent of Bloomberg was Bill Thompson, the nominee of the Democratic Working Families and Democratic Party. Thompson had been the Comptroller of New York City for the past 8 years, and also the previous president of the Board of Education of New York City. Bloomberg won the election by garnering 50.6 percent of the vote as against 46 percent of that of Thompson.
However, another controversy hounded Bloomberg in the succeeding months. It was said that Bloomberg had inadvertently contributed twice an amount of $600,000 from his personal assets to the Independence Party. The Independence Party, in turn, paid $750,000 to John Haggerty Jr., the political operative of the Republican Party.
In February 2010, an investigation led by the District Attorney of the New York County, Cyrus Vance, Jr. was started to find out possible improprieties in the dealings. John Haggerty Jr., the Republican political consultant, was later on convicted of stealing funds intended for campaign.
Haggerty admitted to the crime and was sentenced to one and a third to almost four years in state prison after his conviction on second degree grand larceny and second degree money laundering charges. He was likewise asked to pay restitution amounting to $750,000 which was equivalent to the amount he stole from Mr. Bloomberg.
The sentence was handed over by Justice Ronald A. Zweibel of State Supreme Court of Manhattan. The prosecutor said that Haggerty had promised to utilize the money to set up voting security during the Election Day, but instead used the amount to purchase a house. The trial lasted nearly a month and it exposed how a political campaign could involve lavish spending on the part of a vying candidate.
Michael Bloomberg’s Wife and Children
Michael Bloomberg was married in 1975 to Susan Brown, who was born in Yorkshire, Northern England. They had two lovely daughters, Emma who was born in 1979 and Georgina who was born in 1983.
However, Bloomberg and Brown had to part ways in a divorce settlement in 1993, though both Bloomberg and Brown remain very close friends afterwards. His younger sister—Marjorie Tiven—has worked as the Commissioner of the United Nations' New York City Commission, Consular Corps and Protocol since 2002.
Bloomberg is basically an amateur pilot who, in several occasions, had close calls with crash accidents involving both a helicopter and an airplane. In 1995, a crash accident happened while he was trying to give a bird's–eye–view of Manhattan to his nephew.
Bloomberg is an exacting and sometimes perfectionist boss. Former workers at Bloomberg L.P. say that Bloomberg demanded absolute loyalty from his subordinates. Though Calzone, who has worked with Mr. Bloomberg, attested that there are radical changes in the personality of Mr. Bloomberg recently, saying: "I think he is different today. I guess all these characteristics of Mr. Bloomberg show the leadership character of a person who has grown larger-than-life.”
Bloomberg is a consummate leader befitting a workaholic who is always on the move. He always wants to achieve and this main characteristic of him sets him off from other guys with the same attribute.
But every great person has multifaceted character, and Bloomberg manifests a different side of his in being a loving father and a sympathetic person. Bloomberg became an Eagle Scout at the young age of 12, while most of his fellow scouts achieved it at the age of 13.
His sister says that his parents’ friends would often line up to avail of Michael's unusual industriousness and benevolence. He had to wait for his 13th birthday before he was installed as Eagle Scout, though he had completed all the requirements long before he turned 13.
Bloomberg’s soft side manifested in instances when others least expect. In an unusual show of benevolence after the tragic September 11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Centers, which killed three of his employees, he promptly sent his private jet to Europe to fetch the vacationing parents of one of his employees who died in the tragedy and he even, time and again, checked on the couple to see how they are doing.
Bloomberg, likewise, didn't like moving to the Gracie Mansion which is the official residence of the New York City's Mayor because he liked his home was quite sentimental about leaving it as narrated by Emma, his daughter.
All these little anecdotes clearly show a different facet of Bloomberg.
Michael Bloomberg on Pressing and Controversial Issues
As a political figure, Bloomberg is liberal and progressive at the same time. He supports and respects the free choices of each person and also the rights of those who want to have an abortion or homosexual couples who want to get married.
Moreover, he supports gun control and amnesty for those who are illegally staying in the United States. However, on economic issues, Bloomberg tends to be somewhat conservative. He readily opposed any timeline for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq of the Coalition Forces.
He encourages strong government involvement in certain issues which concern public welfare. Furthermore, he favors free trade and business expansions. He categorically described himself as a fiscal conservative in his effective move to balance the budget of New York City.
Being the Mayor of one of the largest and famous Cities of the world, Bloomberg has to deal with a lot of pressing problems and issues domestically. The first issue he dealt with was the fiscal issue by strengthening the fiscal system and balancing the budget.
The high crime rate of New York City had to be addressed immediately and the gnawing and ever-present ominous threat of terrorism. For this reason, Bloomberg has to set up the Counterterrorism Bureau to synchronize all the activities and intelligence gathering of New York City.
He likewise supported the USA PATRIOT Act signed in law by the Congress in 2001. All these policies led to the diminishing crime rate and a more systematic collation of intelligence data which are vital to effective counterterrorism measures.
Another pressing issue which Mr. Bloomberg has to contend with was concerning that of deteriorating educational statistical ratings of some educational institutions in New York City. He believed that a strong educational system is vital to a strong society. In view of this, he replaced the school board which was set up in the state and put the direct control of public education under the Mayor's office.
He likewise bolstered this move by increasing the salaries of educators by 15%. The test scores of students in standardized tests in New York City consequently rose which also increased the number of graduating students. He staunchly opposed the promotion of students to the next level unless the students have undergone the prerequisite year of studies and is adequately equipped for the next level. He likewise advocated and supported the ban on cell-phone in New York City's Schools.
He wants to address the global warming issue and he knows that it will have a catastrophic effect on New York City if global warming will not be mitigated. He enacted therefore the PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York which aims to make New York City greener and helps fight global warming.
He pinpointed in some of his keynote addresses the need to make changes in the way we do things. He emphasized the fact that global warming is not just an imagined phenomenon but a reality. He noted how the world could fight climate change and he said the world can do it by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted. He encourages, therefore, the use of more efficient and cleaner fuels.
Another pressing problem which Bloomberg has to face was that of the number of immigrants in New York City. Bloomberg readily attacked the social conservatives with regards to immigration branding their stance as very unrealistic. He said that he “is not in the mood to deport 12 million immigrants and the best option is to hand them permanent status.”
In line with this, he advocated the use of fingerprints and DNA in collating information for the Federal ID Database. In this way, it would be easy to track down all citizens and their legal status will be readily verified. He supported the Immigration Reform pushed by John McCain and Ted Kennedy.
Moreover, he believes that people will continue to seek greener pasture in the United States as long as the country upholds the statutes of equality and liberty. He likewise pointed out that illegal immigrants do not dent the coffer of the City since they are hard-working and don't avail of government services until they reach a very mendicant situation.
Bloomberg passed a law in 2012, banning the open sale of a number of sweetened drinks which are greater than 16 ounces. This ban doesn't apply however to grocery stores which include 7-Eleven.
In the succeeding month of 2012, a law was passed limiting circumcision practice specifically among orthodox Jews. The law required that there must be a signed consent from parents at every event of circumcision. This law, however, made the orthodox communities to protest, claiming that this is an obvious infringement on the religious freedom of the group. The group later on took the matter to the Federal Court.
Bloomberg, likewise, tackled other public health issues such as the increasing number of people infected with HIV and the growing number of diabetic and hypertensive in New York City. He subsequently extended the smoking ban to include even all commercial establishments. He also implemented a ban on “trans-fat” in restaurants.
He strongly supported the Health and Hospitals Corporation of New York City which serves more than a million New Yorkers. He also launched a new program which he called Opportunity NYC designed to help New Yorkers to free themselves from the cycle of poverty. He likewise, spearheaded a more affordable housing plan designed to provide more than half a million houses to New Yorkers.
Latest Information on Michael Rubens Bloomberg
New York City was ravaged by the Hurricane Sandy during the late October 2012. The damages wrought by the hurricane posed another big challenge for Bloomberg. Hurricane Sandy was a category 2 storm and the largest on record to hit the Atlantic Coast of the United States. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately called on the National Guard members to assist in the state.
Mayor Bloomberg announced that the public schools would be definitely closed on October 30 (Tuesday) and October 31 (Wednesday), yet they actually remained closed until Friday, November 2. Likewise, the Stock Exchange was closed for two days.
Several subway tunnels were flooded. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority later said that the destruction caused by the hurricane can be considered to be the worst disaster in the 108 years that the New York subway system existed.
Bloomberg likewise cancelled a scheduled marathon on November 2, and moved it to November 4, after hearing complaints that the marathon could divert the much needed resources after the calamity.
The aftermath also resulted in gas shortage that led the U.S. Federal Government to set up mobile distributions from which people could be rationed 10 gallons of gas free of charge. However, this was quickly suspended after it caused long queues. Bloomberg later announced that odd-even rationing would be in effect starting November 9.
Challenges That Lie Ahead
Being the Mayor of New York City is “the second most difficult job in the country” as said by Bloomberg. There are still many challenges that lie ahead, but these challenges are ways on which to strengthen Bloomberg’s resolve to better the society and the world in which he lives. There are still some pressing problems ahead which need to be resolved. There are also perennial problems which need to be regularly addressed. But as long as Bloomberg is standing to face these challenges, he would always turn the seemingly disadvantageous situation into an opportunity for progress.
- Bloomberg Philanthropies Foundation
- World Health Organization
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Lung Foundation
- Carnegie Corporation
- Dance Theatre of Harlem
- Gilda's Club
- William Henry Bloomberg Professorship at Harvard
- William and Charlotte Bloomberg Jewish Community Center of Medford
- Sierra Club
- Innovation Delivery Teams
- New York Theatre Workshop
- Kaufman Center
- Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center
Awards and Honors
- 2001, 2005, 2009: Elected mayor of New York
- 2003: Yale School of Management Award for Distinguished Leadership in Global Capital Markets
- 2007: Tufts University honorary degree recipient in Public Service
- 2007: Bard College honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
- 2007: Gotham Award
- 2007 & 2008: Time 100 39th Most Influential Person in the World
- 2008: University of Pennsylvania honorary Doctorate of Law
- 2008: Barnard College Barnard Medal of Distinction
- 2008: The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal
- 2009: Healthy Communities Leadership Award from Leadership for Healthy Communities
- 2009: Fordham University honorary Doctorate