Michael Bloomberg will address Villanova graduates

Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg L.P., will serve as Villanova University's commencement speaker.

The philanthropist, one of the richest people in the United States, will address graduates at 4 p.m. Friday, May 19 in the Villanova Stadium, the university announced.

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Michael Bloomberg , the former New York City mayor, at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in July. AP

Bloomberg, 75, a native of Boston, served as mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, leading the city in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He currently leads Bloomberg, a financial services, mass media and software company that he  started in 1981 and which now employs more than 19,000 people in 73 countries.

His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, supports efforts in public health, education, the environment, the arts and government innovation. He previously served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and in 2016 he was named the World Health Organization's Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

The son of a bookkeeper, he put himself through Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.