With a fortune of $52.8bn, Michael Bloomberg, 76, is the 11th richest person in the world, according to the 2018 list of Forbes’ world’s billionaires.
The founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg was the 108th mayor of New York City, the United States, and served for three terms.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 14, 1942 and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking out loans and working as a parking lot attendant.
After college, he attended Harvard Business School and in 1966 was hired by a Wall Street firm, Salomon Brothers, for an entry-level job.
Not wanting to be an average person, Bloomberg 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 fired from the firm, with a severance cheque to the tune of $10m.
With the vision of having an information technology company that would bring transparency and efficiency to the buying and selling of financial securities, he set up his own company in a room, called Innovative Market Solutions.
The company aimed to make it easier for traders to wade through data and eventually debuted the Bloomberg Terminal (first known as the MarketMaster terminal).
A bigger company, Merrill Lynch, thereafter purchased 22 of those terminals, investing $30m in the company.
The company, renamed Bloomberg LP, became widely successful throughout the ‘80s and was worth $2bn by 1989.
Eventually, Bloomberg began branching out into other forms of media, including Bloomberg News and Bloomberg TV.
Today, Bloomberg LP is a global company that has more than 15,500 employees and offices in 73 countries around the world.
In 2001, Bloomberg decided to enter the world of politics and ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican. He won and took office in 2002, where he helped rebuild the city in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Already a billionaire, Bloomberg collected only $1 a year throughout his 12 years as the mayor, while still doling out $650m of his own money along the way.
During his tenure as mayor (2002 to 2013), Bloomberg brought his innovation-driven approach to city government. He turned around a broken public school system by raising standards and holding schools accountable for success.
He spurred economic growth and recorded levels of job creation by revitalising old industrial areas, spurring entrepreneurship, supporting small businesses, and strengthening key industries, including new media, film and television, bio-science, technology, and tourism.
Bloomberg’s economic policies were said to have helped New York City experience record-levels of private-sector job growth often in formerly depressed neighbourhoods, even in the wake of the deep national recession.
Upon retiring as a mayor, he returned to the company he founded while also devoting more time to philanthropy, which has been a top priority for him throughout his career.
A major philanthropist, he has donated more than $5bn to gun control, climate change and other causes.
He once gifted $100m to Cornell University, New York, for the construction of a new tech-focused graduate school in the city.
In 2013, he also gave $350m to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, bringing the sum of his donations to the school to $1.1bn. The massive donation earned him the title of the most generous living donor to any school in the US.
He was also said to have also dropped $42m to improve municipal governments across the country. The programme will help midsize cities learn to analyse and use data in ways that help better the citizens’ lives.
Unlike some Republicans such as US President Donald Trump, Bloomberg is firmly in favour of gun control, and has pledged over $50m toward campaign for stricter gun restrictions.
Bloomberg’s cars, homes and private jets
Speed is essential in the financial world, which is perhaps why Bloomberg drives around in an ultra-fast Audi R8.
The German supercar is able to hit a top speed of about 200 mph and can sprint from a 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
He also owns a Chevrolet Suburban SUV, which is one of the most powerful and comfortable cars in this segment.
With a seating capacity of nine, the car is known for its cavernous spaciousness over its appealing good looks.
He’s also got a handful of expensive toys to keep him busy – including a six-seater Agusta SPA A109s helicopter, worth $4.5m.
Bloomberg frequently flies one of his private jets down to Bermuda, a group of 150 small islands off the coast of North Carolina in the US, where he owns a house right on the water.
The former mayor heads to the island to unwind and does everything in his power to keep his life there separate from his days in the bustling New York City.
Bloomberg controls an impressive real estate portfolio as he owns about 14 properties worldwide, with homes everywhere – from New York, to London, to Bermuda.
When he is home in New York, he relaxes in his five-storey mansion on 79th Street, which he recently renovated at a cost of $1.7m.
Sources: businessinsider.com, bloomberg.com, bornrich.com, forbes.com, en.wikipedia.org, mikeboomberg.com