2020 presidential race: Who is Michael Bloomberg?

Michael Bloomberg - What you need to know

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg formally announced his candidacy in November 2018, becoming a late addition to the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination months after he ruled out the possibility of a run.

On his website Nov. 24, 2018, Bloomberg wrote, “We need a president who understands that truth – and who can do it, rather than just make promises.”

"I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver – not a talker. And as someone who is ready to take on the tough fights – and win."

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Here are six things to know about the former mayor:

  • Bloomberg was born Feb. 14, 1942, to a middle-class family in Massachusetts. His grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. He was raised just outside Boston, in Medford, with a younger sister named Marjorie.
  • He graduated in 1964 from John Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. On his website, Bloomberg noted that he was a student leader, serving as president of his fraternity, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council and class president. He said running for the school positions gave him his first taste of what a political campaign might be like. "He planned schoolwide events and learned to build consensus -- gaining skills that still serve him well, decades later," according to his website. In 1966, Bloomberg earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
  • After business school, in 1966, Bloomberg got a job at the securities brokerage Salomon Brothers and moved to New York City. He moved up the ranks at the company, overseeing equity trading and sales before eventually becoming head of the Information Systems department. He stayed with the company until 1981, when he was laid off as part of a corporate restructuring. He used his severance from the company to found Bloomberg LP, a financial information and media company that includes Bloomberg News.
  • In 2001, Bloomberg ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican and independent candidate. According to his official New York City government biography, his decision to run as a Republican came because of the number of high-profile Democrats who were also interested in running for the position. He was endorsed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who currently serves as Trump's personal attorney. He was subsequently sworn in as the 108th mayor of New York City and reelected twice to the post.
  • Bloomberg considered joining the race for the White House in 2016, according to The New York Times. He had wanted to run as an independent, but nixed the plans in fear that his third-party run could help Trump win the election, the newspaper reported. "That is not a risk I can take in good conscience," Bloomberg wrote in an opinion piece published in 2016 by Bloomberg. "Trump appeals to our worst impulses."
  • According to Forbes magazine, Bloomberg has a net worth of $52.4 billion, which would rank him as the richest Democrat to join the 2020 presidential race. The next richest person vying for the White House in 2020 is Trump, who has a net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes.