Michael Bloomberg is the best bargain money can't buy. For $1 a year, he runs the greatest city in the world in a way it's never been done before. From the ashes of 9/11, Mayor Bloomberg, 65, rebuilt New York City as only a nonpolitician could. He has cut the murder rate, banned smoking and trans fats in restaurants, centralized the public school system, created a coalition of mayors to keep illegal guns off the streets and developed an extensive plan to make the city more environmentally friendly before the end of his term. He recently said he was banning all desserts and sweets. Unfortunately for my diet, he was kidding.
One key to the mayor's success is his distaste for politics as usual. At work he sits in a trading-floor-style cubicle among dozens of his colleagues. His almost pitch-perfect reactions to the crises he has faced have set the standard for the public official as skillful manager of the 21st century. New York Daily News reporter Michael Saul, who has covered Bloomberg longer than any other Big Apple reporter, says, "He's gutsy. He's smart. He's rich. He's generous. He's loyal." And he can fly a helicopter.
But perhaps the best reason he belongs in the TIME 100 is because His Honor happens to be one of the most honorable people in or out of office. He treats women well, including his ex-wife. His 98-year-old mother Charlotte says, "He calls me every day. Who could ask for more from a son?"
Couric is anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News