Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

IMG: Miro Vrlik Photography / Shutterstock

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the charity started by business magnate and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg.  The foundation focuses mainly on reducing causes of death around the world, including tobacco cessation and traffic safety.  The organization, which only recently began publicizing its activities online, also contributes to arts, education, the environment and personal projects of Michael Bloomberg.  Last year, his charity gave away $370 million.  Business sense is not too far away in the charity’s approach, however, as it has stated a commitment to metrics and lasting change.

Mayor Bloomberg has been the head of New York City since 2002, and is known for a commitment to statistics and public education reform.  After Hurricane Sandy Mayor Bloomberg became an outspoken advocate for clean energy in order to combat climate change.  He is also known for large public health initiatives, one a successful ban on public smoking and the other a failed attempt to limit soda sizes at fast food restaurants.

After receiving a degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Michael Bloomberg attended Harvard Business School.  He began his career at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank.  After being laid off with a generous severance due to a merger, Bloomberg started a business intelligence firm.  The company has now evolved into one of the most trusted sources of information for anyone involved on Wall Street.  Worth over $27 billion, Bloomberg declined to receive a salary as mayor of New York, and is on the books as receiving one dollar as an annual stipend.

He began Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2006.  It currently manages almost three billion dollars’ worth of assets.  Organizations that have benefited from the foundation include the Center for Disease Control, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Carnegie Corporation and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Mayor Bloomberg says he was inspired to be charitable from his father, who gave money to the NAACP when Michael was a child, even though the family barely had enough money to live.  He says his father told him that discrimination was a threat to everyone, and that it was important to help people.

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