Back in 1966, when Salomon brothers, a Wall Street investment bank hired a fresh face, they only knew him as a Johns Hopkins and Harvard graduate. Little did they know, this newcomer would soon start to turn a lot of heads with his excellent work ethics and analytical abilities! His first job was to count the bonds and stocks in the bank’s vault. Fast forward six years, he is now a partner of that very bank, at the age of only 30!
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Yes, this is the story of Michael Bloomberg. Philanthropist, billionaire, activist, renowned politician- he goes by a lot of titles. But what defines him, perhaps, is as one of the most successful persons in the world. He sure has the Midas touch, as whatever he touched, turned into success.
Michael Bloomberg: The Man, The Myth, The Legend.
Where It All Began
Michael was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 14, 1942. His father, William Henry Bloomberg was a bookkeeper for a dairy company. Bloomberg’s family moved to Medford, Massachusetts when he was two, and lived there up until his graduation. Bloomberg was an ‘Eagles Scout’ in his childhood. He attended Johns Hopkins University to pursue his Honors degree in electrical engineering. He then went on to complete his master’s in Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
Salomon Brothers And Bloomberg’s Rise To Fame
Shortly after graduation, he went on to join Salomon Brothers, an investment bank based on Wall Street. He was initially recruited as a fresh face to do basic work. But his integrity and understanding of the job quickly rose him up the ranks. Within six years of his recruitment, he became a partner, one of the youngest ever in the history of the bank. But he didn’t stop just there.
Bloomberg went on to lead the Information Technology division in Salomon Brothers, a decision many deemed to be an unwise one. Mostly because the idea of an ICT division in an investment bank sounded a bit too ambitious. But this is Michael Bloomberg we are talking about, and he turned the ‘unglamorous’ and ‘unimportant’ division into his forte and used the experience from working here otherwise. Time to tell the story of his own company.
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The Idea Of ‘Bloomberg Terminal’
In 1981, Bloomberg was laid off by the new owners of the Bank, but his golden ticket was the 10 million Dollars he got being a partner. He used the hefty amount of money to open ‘Innovative Market Solutions’. A company that gives reliable information to the brokers, that too in a super-speed. His days in Salomon Brothers taught him one thing- reliable and original data is the stepping stone to ultimate success as a trader.
Based on that one principle, his company began working. They soon hit the jackpot, and by the end of the 1980s, Bloomberg was the richest man in all of New York. With their thorough and to the point Intel, the company’s value skyrocketed within the first decade. People called them Bloomberg’s. Soon after, they turned to other media, and Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg News were launched.
‘The’ Bloomberg Terminal
Perhaps his most famous invention was the Bloomberg Terminal, which he co-built with Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, and Charles Zegar. Together, they built a fully computerized and automated system that can provide market data, but in real-time. The system also does financial calculations and various analyses regarding the Wall Street companies.
The terminal turned out to be a massive success. With the use of his creative analysis and marketing prowess, Bloomberg became one of the wealthiest people in the world. His company, Bloomberg L.P. now has over 100 offices throughout the world.
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Michael ‘Mr. Mayor’ Bloomberg
A lifelong Democrat supporter, Bloomberg surprisingly shifted to the Republican’s side and entered the race to be the mayor of New York in 2001. Calling himself a ‘liberal republican’, he quickly gained a lot of attention as one of the very few politicians talking openly about legalizing same-sex marriage. Bloomberg went on to be the 108th mayor in New York City, and his first tenure was a very successful one.
The “311” telephone service to report any inconveniences would certainly remain as one of his most popular initiatives. Instead of guesses and assumptions, he insisted on using data analysis to conduct activities, as he turned the messy big apple into a developed, organized city.
He was re-elected in 2005 and again ran for the mayor in 2009, quite controversially. This time, he was an independent candidate and spent around $90 million for his election campaign. Money speaks, and people of New York kept their faith in him, re-electing Bloomberg for the third time in a row. He stepped down as the Mayor in 2014 to concentrate more on his philanthropic duties.
The reason why Michael Bloomberg is admired and adored all over the world is his philanthropy. The man has donated over 2.5 billion dollars on various charity and philanthropic works through his charity organization: Bloomberg Philanthropies. He has invested around $650 million in his tenures as the mayor of New York and has been willing to spend more if needed.
An environmentalist himself, he is very concerned about climate change and its adverse effects. So much, that when Donald Trump exited from the Paris Climate Agreement. Bloomberg insisted on paying the $4.5 million that was promised by the US government before they backed out. In March 2019, he also introduced his plans to launch an endeavor named ‘beyond carbon’. That will help retire the coal-fired power plants within the next eleven years.
Michael Bloomberg: The Next US President?
Michael supported the democrats in the 2016 US election and released statements and press conferences in favor of the then-presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton. As the 2020 US presidential election is looming at large, Bloomberg has applied as a late runner to have the nomination from the democrats.
It is a bit late for him, as the likes of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are already running as front-runners. But he has splashed in a good lot of money, so the tables may well turn in the days to come.
Bloomberg has spent a whopping 129 million dollars on just advertisements. That explains his urge to defeat Donald Trump and his ideologies. Added to his popularity worldwide as a philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg may well be nominated in the days to come!
In conclusion, Michael Bloomberg is an inspiration for the future generation, in the sense that he is a self-made billionaire. He started from scratch and built an empire, became one of the richest in the world. Yet, the man isn’t blinded by money. He didn’t forget his past, he still works for the society, works for mankind. Humanity is above all, and Bloomberg is a brilliant example here.
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