Charlie Buttrey

July 11, 2024

This will be the first of a two-part blog post describing how some wealthy people spend their money.

First up: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

You may recall that last February, as I mentioned in a blog post, Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman donated $1 billion to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. That money will be used to make the school tuition-free for every student in perpetuity.

Now Bloomberg has come along and done the same thing.

Tuition at the Johns Hopkins Medical School is $65,000 a year. Or, rather, it WAS $65,000 a year. Now, thanks to a $1 billion gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, tuition will be completely free for students whose families earn less than $300,000. In addition, the gift will cover living expenses and fees for students from families earning up to $175,000.

I have read that people who inherit large amounts of money tend to be far less generous with their charitable giving than people who come from humble beginnings to make a fortune. Bloomberg belongs to that latter group: according to Wikipedia, his father — a bookkeeper for a dairy company — never earned more than $9,000 a year, and Bloomberg’s first job out of business school was at Salomon Brothers, earning $9,000 a year. He is now one of the 20 wealthiest people on the planet and has given away $17,4 billion to various charitable endeavors, including $3 billion in 2023 alone.

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