Bloomberg's Thanks to Johns Hopkins Hits $1.1B

He's now the most generous living donor to any school in history

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2013 8:43 AM CST

(Newser) – Michael Bloomberg is tossing the old alma mater a $350 million gift today, and Johns Hopkins University is marking the occasion by disclosing the grand total of all Bloomberg's gifts: Starting with $5 the year after graduating in 1964, the billionaire has given $1.1 billion to the college he credits with changing the course of his life. He arrived on campus a bored C student, reports the New York Times, and left a leader, determined to make his mark.

“If I had been the son of academics,” says Bloomberg, “maybe I would never have been as impressed as I was when I was here, because it’s the first time I really was walking among people who were world leaders, who were creating, inventing.” Hopkins and Bloomberg are deeply entwined: Hizzoner's donations have funded a slew of improvements, some 20% of all need-based financial aid in recent years, and driven the university's reputation skyward. Hopkins in turn is the place where Bloomberg, as a trustee, discovered the link between behavior and disease. "He has been the public health mayor ever since," says the former dean of the—you guessed it—Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses the US Conference of Mayors' 81st winter meeting in Washington, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gestures as he addresses the US Conference of Mayors 81st winter meeting in Washington, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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