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The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg

Innovation, Money, and Politics

This authoritative and anecdote-filled biography of Michael Bloomberg—2020 presidential candidate and one of the richest and famously private/public figures in the country—is a “masterful work…[and] an absolutely first-rate study of leadership in business, politics, and philanthropy” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize­–winning author) from a veteran New York Times reporter.

Michael Bloomberg’s life sounds like an exaggerated version of The American Story, except his adventures are real.

From modest Jewish middle class (and Eagle Scout) to Harvard MBA to Salomon Brothers hot shot (where he gets “sent upstairs” and later fired) to creator of the Bloomberg terminal, a machine that would change Wall Street and the financial universe and make him a billionaire, to presidential candidate in 2020, Randolph’s account of Bloomberg’s life reads almost like a novel.

“A vivid, timely study of Bloomberg’s brand of plutocracy” (Publishers Weekly), this engaging and insightful biography recounts Mayor Bloomberg’s vigorous approach to New York City’s care—including his attempts at education reform, anti-smoking and anti-obesity campaigns, climate control, and new developments across the city.

After he engineered a surprising third term as Mayor, Bloomberg returned to his business and philanthropies that focused increasingly on cities. The chapter that describes this is one of the most revealing of his temperament and energy and vision as well as how he spends his “private” time that was virtually off-limits even when he was mayor.

Bloomberg promised to give away his money before he died, and his giving has focused on education, gun control, and a fighting climate change. He joined the 2020 presidential campaign as a moderate liberal and spent his millions focused on ousting President Donald Trump.

Earl Wilson

Eleanor Randolph is a veteran journalist who has covered national politics and the media for The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers. Her articles have appeared in VogueEsquire, the New Republic, and other magazines. A member of the New York Times editorial staff from 1998 to 2018, she focused on city and state politics, media, and Russia. The author of The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg, she lives in Manhattan with her husband.