Mayor, New York City
When the stress of running Gotham gets too much, Bloomberg often relaxes at Queens’ restaurants.
What one factor is most important to success?
The most important factor to success is working hard. Being the first one to work and the last one to leave is something that I’ve tried to do my whole life. It doesn’t matter who you are - I am the son of a bookkeeper - if you don’t work hard, you will never be successful. It is the great thing about America and New York - if you work hard and play by the rules, you can achieve literally anything.
What do you look for in an employee?
I try to hire people who are as smart as or smarter than the next guy. I never understand people who look for “yes” men simply because they don’t want their authority challenged. That is not how I ran my company, nor is it how I run the city.
What’s the best way to save money?
The best way to save your money is to invest in the City’s future by buying tax-free New York City municipal bonds. They offer a great rate of return and unsurpassed reliability.
What’s the best way to spend money?
The best way to spend money - both on a household and citywide level - is very wisely. You have to think carefully about what you are spending money on, whether it is a new television or a new government program.
What’s your greatest pleasure?
My two greatest pleasures are going to work as Mayor of the greatest city in the world and watching my two lovely daughters grow up.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
First thing every morning, I wake up and go jogging before I take the subway to work. Often it is the time when I have my most creative thoughts. It gives me the isolation to think about how I can improve New York, whether it be making the City safer or improving the schools system.
How do you deal with stress?
After a long day spent fighting for the City, there is nothing better than winding down in one of New York’s fantastic restaurants - many of which can be found in Queens. I try to dine out in as many different neighborhoods as I can, to savor the many different flavors of the world’s greatest city.
What one lesson do you hope to pass on to your children?
I hope to pass on to my children the value of hard work, which my parents taught me. I grew up the son of middle class parents and helped pay my way through college by working as a parking lot attendant. My mother taught me to do what you’ve got to do, and I’ve tried to follow her lesson. With hard work and a little luck, I was fortunate enough to enjoy some success. I have tried to instill these values in my daughters.
How do you bounce back from adversity?
In August of 1981, I was fired from my job on Wall Street. It was, in fact, the best thing that could have happened to me. With four people, I started my own company. We had a coffee pot, but not a lot more than that. We relished the challenge, and tried to use adversity to our advantage by working harder than everyone else. The best way to deal with a setback is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and most importantly, don’t listen to the naysayers.
What’s your favorite thing about Queens?
The favorite part about Queens is the people, and their strong-willed attitude that is quintessentially New York. I love walking the streets of the City’s largest borough and hearing people telling me to fight for better schools, better healthcare and safer, cleaner streets. I also love the strong neighborhood feel that makes Queens such a special place, and that’s why my administration is fighting overdevelopment so hard.
Michael Bloomberg became the 108th Mayor of the City of New York in 2002. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and obtained an MBA from Harvard. In the summer of 1966, he was hired by Salomon Brothers to work on Wall Street and became a partner in 1972.
He was fired in 1981 after another company acquired Salomon, and took his stake from the Salomon sale to start his own company, an endeavor that would revolutionize the way that Wall Street does business.
In 1982, Bloomberg L.P. sold 20 subscriptions to its service; 20 years later, Bloomberg LP has over 165,000 subscribers worldwide. As the business proved its viability, the company branched out and in 1990 Bloomberg LP entered the media business, launching a news service, and then radio, television, Internet, and publishing operations.
Bloomberg LP now employs more than 8,000 people - including 2,500 in New York City - in more than 100 offices worldwide.
Recently, he was honored by Johns Hopkins University, when its School of Hygiene and Public Health was renamed The Bloomberg School of Public Health, a tribute to his leadership and use of philanthropy to improve the human condition.