Bloomberg recently gave $120 million to help build the new $1.1 billion Johns Hopkins Hospital and $5 million to the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. With the gift to the hospital, Bloomberg, who has amassed what Forbes estimates to be a $22 billion fortune as the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., has given some $800 million to Johns Hopkins since he paid his way through college with loans and a job as a parking lot attendant. That makes him the university's largest donor — and possibly the largest single donor to any university in the United States. The mayor, who credits his mother for sparking his interest in philanthropy, also has given generously to other public health and medical causes. He recently gave a $250,000 matching gift to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has spoken out against so-called "stand your ground" laws, and, in his capacity as mayor, has supported limits on New York restaurants' use of salt and trans fats and a smoking ban in buildings and parks.
At a ceremony marking the dedication of the hospital, Bloomberg announced a five-year pledge to OSI-Baltimore for its Accelerated Pathways Initiative, which works to increase graduation rates and postsecondary success in the city, particularly among male African-American students. The initiative complements and will help OSI-Baltimore expand its ongoing education and youth development work to keep children connected to school from pre-K through graduation, support school reform efforts to create new schools, and build opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom.
"Mayor Bloomberg shares our deep commitment to ensure that all children have access to a challenging academic program and the encouragement and support they need to graduate well prepared for successful futures," said Diana Morris, director of OSI-Baltimore and acting executive director of the Open Society Foundations' U.S. Programs. "We are enormously grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for this gift enabling us to partner with [Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andres] Alonso and City Schools and the Fund for Educational Excellence to bring new education models to Baltimore."