When Bloomberg leaves office, in either 2006 or 2010, he’ll take the estimated $7 to $9 billion windfall from the sale of Bloomberg L.P. and devote himself to philanthropy. “I look at Bill Gates,” he says. “He’s a guy I used to be critical of because he didn’t give away a lot of his money, and now he’s giving away a fortune, and he’s doing it very intelligently. I don’t know that I would do exactly the same things, but he’s got a process, he’s got smart people.”
Bloomberg says he’s in no hurry to retire. “My private life is still pretty much the same in that I’m a workaholic,” he says. “I never took a lot of vacations. I’d rather be at work. I’ve been to Vail once in three years. I haven’t been to my house in London in five years. Bermuda, I’ve been there twice in six months, maybe. It’s close by, there’s good golf, people are nice, and it’s a multicultural, interracial society.”
Which is one of the strange and wonderful things about having Michael Bloomberg as mayor. In Bermuda, his neighbors are Silvio Berlusconi and H. Ross Perot. In New York, he lives in one of the city’s costliest Zip Codes. But he enjoys both places for their diversity. If he’s mayor for four more years, will his legacy be a stronger, equally diverse city—or a city that’s ever more like Mr. Bloomberg’s rarefied neighborhood?