Throughout many years, many people rely on the information we get from Bloomberg. And that influence is present not only in America but is spread across the world. Now, it reached a point wherein whenever you hear Bloomberg, automatically the word that pops up in your head is reliable. Because of that trust or reliability, Bloomberg was able to be on top of most people and reach his success. Today we’ll take a closer look at how Michael Bloomberg became this influential.
Who Is Michael Bloomberg?
Michael Rubens Bloomberg was born on February 14, 1942, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, to William Henry Bloomberg, a bookkeeper for a dairy company, and Charlotte (née Rubens) Bloomberg. The Bloomberg Center at the Harvard Business School was named in William Henry’s honor. Bloomberg’s family is Jewish, and he is a member of the Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. Bloomberg’s paternal grandfather, Rabbi Alexander “Elick” Bloomberg, was a Polish Jew. Bloomberg’s maternal grandfather, Max Rubens, was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant from present-day Belarus, and his maternal grandmother was born in New York to Lithuanian Jewish parents. The family lived in Allston until Bloomberg was two years old, followed by Brookline, Massachusetts, for two years, finally settling in the Boston suburb of Medford, Massachusetts, where he lived until after he graduated from college. He graduated from Medford High School in 1960. He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he joined the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi. While there, he constructed the blue jay costume for the university’s mascot. He graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In 1966, he graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
In 1975, Bloomberg married Susan Elizabeth Barbara Brown, a British national from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. They have two daughters: Emma and Georgina, who were featured on Born Rich, a 2003 documentary film about the children of the extremely wealthy. Bloomberg divorced Brown in 1993, but he has said she remains his “best friend.” Since 2000, Bloomberg has lived with former New York state banking superintendent Diana Taylor.
Bloomberg’s younger sister, Marjorie Tiven, has been Commissioner of the New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps, and Protocol, since February 2002. Although he attended Hebrew school, had a bar mitzvah, and his family kept a kosher kitchen, Bloomberg today is relatively secular, attending synagogue mainly during the High Holidays and a Passover Seder with his sister. Neither of his daughters had bat mitzvahs.
During his term as mayor, he lived at his own home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan instead of Gracie Mansion, the official mayoral residence. Bloomberg stated that during his mayoralty, he rode the New York City Subway on a daily basis, particularly in the commute from his 79th Street home to his office at City Hall. An August 2007 story in The New York Times stated that he was often seen chauffeured by two New York Police Department-owned SUVs to an express train station to avoid having to change from the local to the express trains on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. He supported the construction of the 7 Subway Extension and the Second Avenue Subway; in December 2013, Bloomberg took a ceremonial ride on a train to the new 34th Street station to celebrate a part of his legacy as mayor.
Bloomberg began his career in financial services in 1966 at the now-defunct Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers, where his first job was counting bonds and stock certificates in the bank’s vault. He moved up to bond trading, becoming a partner in 1972 and a general partner in 1976. Phibro Corporation bought Salomon Brothers in 1981, and the new management fired Bloomberg, paying him $10 million for his equity in the firm.
Using this money, Bloomberg, having designed in-house computerized financial systems for Salomon, set up a data services company named Innovative Market Systems (IMS) based on his belief that Wall Street would pay a premium for high-quality business information, delivered instantaneously on computer terminals in a variety of usable formats. The company sold customized computer terminals that delivered real-time market data, financial calculations, and other analytics to Wall Street firms. The terminal, first called the Market Master terminal, was released to the market in December 1982.
In 1986, the company renamed itself Bloomberg L.P. and it recorded $10.5 billion in revenues in 2019. The company operates data terminals used throughout the financial services industry. It also includes the business news cable channel Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, and a monthly magazine, Bloomberg Markets. BusinessWeek magazine was purchased by the company in 2009 and was renamed Bloomberg BusinessWeek. As of 2019, the company has more than 325,000 terminal subscribers worldwide and employs 20,000 people in dozens of locations.
The culture of the company in the 1980s and 1990s has been compared to a fraternity, with employees bragging in the company’s office about their sexual exploits. The company was sued four times by female employees for sexual harassment, including one incident in which a victim claimed to have been raped. To celebrate Bloomberg’s 48th birthday, colleagues published a pamphlet entitled Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg. Among various sayings that were attributed to him, several have subsequently been criticized as sexist or misogynistic.
When he left the position of CEO to pursue a political career as the mayor of New York City, Bloomberg was replaced by Lex Fenwick and later by Daniel L. Doctoroff. In fall 2014, Bloomberg announced that he would return to Bloomberg L.P. as CEO at the end of 2014, succeeding Doctoroff, who had led the company since February 2008. He later resigned as CEO of Bloomberg L.P. to run for president in 2019.
Bloomberg assumed office as the 108th mayor of New York City on January 1, 2002. He won re-election in 2005 and again in 2009. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until 2001 when he switched to the Republican Party to run for Mayor. He switched to an independent in 2007 and registered again as a Democrat in October 2018. Bloomberg joined Rudy Giuliani, John Lindsay, and Fiorello La Guardia as re-elected Republican mayors in the mostly Democratic city.
Bloomberg chose to apply a statistical, metrics-based management approach to city government and granted departmental commissioners broad autonomy in their decision-making. Breaking with 190 years of tradition, he implemented what New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney called a “bullpen” open office plan, similar to a Wall Street trading floor, in which dozens of aides and managerial staff are seated together in a large chamber. The design is intended to promote accountability and accessibility. As mayor, Bloomberg turned the city’s $6 billion budget deficit into a $3 billion surplus, largely due to raising property taxes. Bloomberg increased city funding for the new development of affordable housing through a plan that created and preserved an estimated 160,000 affordable homes in the city.
During his term, Bloomberg supported government initiatives in public health and welfare. This included tobacco control efforts (including an increase in the legal age to purchase tobacco products, a ban on smoking in indoor workplaces, and an increase in the cigarette tax); the elimination of the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants; and bans on all flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products including menthol flavors. Bloomberg also launched an unsuccessful effort to ban certain large (more than 16 fluid ounce) sugary sodas at restaurants and food service establishments in the city. These initiatives were supported by public health advocates but were criticized by some as “nanny state” policies.
Over his career, Bloomberg has “mingled support for progressive causes with more conservative positions on law enforcement, business regulation, and school choice.” Bloomberg supports gun-control measures, abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He advocates for a public health insurance option that he has called “Medicare for all for people that are uncovered” rather than a universal single-payer healthcare system. He is concerned about climate change and has touted his mayoral efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Bloomberg supported the Iraq War and opposed creating a timeline for withdrawing troops. Bloomberg has sometimes embraced the use of surveillance in efforts to deter crime and protect against terrorism.
He advocates reversing many of the Trump tax cuts. His own tax plan includes implementing a 5 percent surtax on incomes above $5 million a year and would raise federal revenue by $5 trillion over a decade. He opposes a wealth tax, saying that it would likely be found unconstitutional. He has also proposed more stringent financial regulations that include tougher oversight for big banks, a financial transactions tax, and stronger consumer protections.
On Nov. 24, 2019, Michael Bloomberg entered the 2020 race for the U.S. presidency as a Democrat.2 He self-funded his campaign and reported to the Federal Election Commission he had spent over $1 billion.12 In his campaign statement, Bloomberg aimed at President Trump as his motivation for running. He wrote, “I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.” Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race on March 4, 2020, after a poor showing on Super Tuesday.
Tips From Michael Bloomberg
“If you really believe that you’re making a difference and that you can leave a legacy of better schools and jobs and safer streets, why would you not spend the money? The objective is to improve the schools, bring down crime, build affordable housing, clean the streets – not to have a fair fight.”
“And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.”
“Nobody wants a job where they don’t have authority to go along with the responsibility. Quite the contrary. The more authority you give people, the better people you can attract, and the harder they’re going to work, and the more loyal they are going to be.”
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